The electric car does not pollute in use, requires less maintenance and electricity costs less than petrol at the same distance. But she has another life-changing trait …
Do you remember the first incarceration? This somewhat surreal era, where the townspeople, completely locked inside, rediscovered (or discovered) amazed at the silence that was barely disturbed here and there by the chirping of small birds and the 20-odd applause for caregivers?
Do you remember the almost oppressive calm that reigned over our cities? This calm that then made us realize what we assumed so far without really being aware of it: the noise from our modern society is emitted mainly by road traffic. And therefore of heat engines, whether in cars, commercial vehicles or motorized two-wheeled vehicles. And also planes, to a lesser extent, as the latter are not coherent, other than living at the foot of an airport.
engines? Not only that, of course. A moving vehicle emits other noise pollution, whether it comes from rolling, various frictions or aerodynamics. But the sum of the noise from the engines is certainly greater than the sum of all the others, although newer cars are becoming quieter and quieter.
More cars, more noise. It was radical.
You see me coming … No, electric cars are not completely silent, yes they still emit a few decibels, and when they do not emit any, we force them to emit some with AVAS so as not to create a genocide on the way in armies of pedestrians who have recently become deaf and blind. But electric cars are much quieter than thermobiles, at least up to a certain speed, and therefore primarily where it is a problem, that is, in the city.
And yet, when we talk about electricity, silence – even if it is mentioned, even in advertisements, and sometimes in a somewhat tendentious way – is no longer the first argument that emerges in conversations. We are talking about ecology, zero emissions, cost of use and maintenance, fine particles, weight, autonomy, but rarely noise pollution. And yet it is probably the only argument that is unstoppable and indisputable. The anti-EVs, always with their usual ignorance of ignorance, will always be able to oppose that an electric car “pollutes more than a thermal car”, or that it only “displaces the problem”, but they will never be in able to contest the fact that an electric car is quieter. For precisely, it is a fact. And the noise that is not emitted in our streets is not sent to mines in Africa or China.
Noise pollution, this insidious enemy
It is an underestimated topic that we talk very little about in the end, but noise pollution is an insidious nuisance that degrades the quality of life and can even have direct consequences for health. Its consequences are not limited to simple fatigue or temporary discomfort. For example, in a recent study (PDF), ADEME estimates that noise pollution generates € 155.7 billion in social costs each year due to the diseases it causes or the loss of heredity, and that 25 million people in France are affected by: noise pollution, of which 9 mill. is overexposed with chronic health effects. A study that also confirms that road traffic is actually the biggest source of inconvenience. I know ADEME surveys are worth what they are worth and are often controversial, but it still gives an idea of the problem, and ADEME is not the only one that has produced reports that, whatever the sources, are generally all goes in the same direction.
So of course the car is not only responsible for this pollution of the eardrums, but it is not very difficult to imagine in an expectation scenario that a big city where only 100% electric vehicles circulate (cars, utilities, public transport, 2 wheels) would be rid of an overwhelming portion of its noise, and that the tranquility that would prevail there would certainly be very beneficial to our collective mental health.
Moreover, the silence or in any case the reduced noise pollution from electric vehicles does not only concern urban residents or local residents. The passengers in the vehicle also benefit from it, as it is now recognized that a ride on board an electric car at similar mileage and average is much less tiring than on board a thermal car, even considered silent. The absence of vibration due to the internal combustion engine plus transmission combo also definitely has something to do with it. That’s why we’ve recently added sound level measurement to our supertests.
Here, too, in addition to the induced behavior, the electric car will certainly contribute to a more peaceful, less aggressive society.