The trend of buying electric vehicles is only picking up more steam as time goes on. It seems like every new year, more and more people are making a purchase and enjoying all of the numerous benefits.
Not only are prices coming down with electric vehicles, but they are getting more power and proving to not be any type of burden.
One of the major benefits is of course the fact that there is no longer an internal combustion engine to worry about. That means no gas, no issues that go along with the engine, and much less sound.
That engine used to be one of the main culprits causing a noisy vehicle, but that’s no longer the case. Electric vehicles are indeed extremely quiet, but the downside is that it only highlights and isolates some of the other sounds that can be annoying for drivers.
What are the best ways to soundproof an electric car? Before we dive into that, will take a look at what sounds people will actually hear in an electric car that can be annoying.
We will also answer some common questions that some first-time electric car drivers have so that they can get the best experience possible.
What Noises Can Be Heard With Electric Cars?
Drivers can complain about a bunch of different noises that they hear when they are driving an electric car. A lot of people become pretty spoiled with how quiet the car can be in general. So anything that pops up is that much more frustrating.
It might be virtually nothing compared to the past, but after investing so much money, it is normal for people to expect some peace and quiet.
Road noise is perhaps the biggest culprit, as there’s no way to completely reduce that. There is not much difference between a traditional car and an electric car when it comes to road noise, but it is a bit easier to identify without the engine covering things up.
Companies have been trying to cut road noise down for years, but they know that road noise will still be on just about any surface.
Drivers going fast will hear a bit more noise, and the same goes for going over bumpy terrains like bricks. The older the car is, the more worn the protective areas might be, further amplifying the sound.
If anything goes wrong mechanically, that can also be a noise drivers hear when inside the car. That usually means that some type of service is needed, so the sound acts as a bit of a warning.
Finally, there’s something to be said for having to deal with a bunch of unnecessary outside noise. To some extent, it’s worth hearing everything that is going on so that a driver is ready for a surprise.
Being able to hear pedestrians walking or ambulances going by definitely helps drivers stay safe. However, hearing too much outside noise can ruin the peacefulness of driving.
The Best Options to Soundproof An Electric Car
The average electric vehicle is quiet, but maybe not quiet enough. What are the best ways to soundproof an electric car? Using any of these strategies will help out in the sound department.
Everyone will feel like they have the right plan in place, so figuring it out and going from there certainly helps.
Noise Damping Mats and Pads
After all, even though the engine is not making anywhere near the same amount of noise, there are still a lot of frustrating sounds to deal with.
Most of the sounds that cause a hindrance to drivers come from the ground. That’s where noise-damping mats can come into play and also spruce up the car as well.
Most of them are made of durable material that makes them easy to install and not worry about for a long while after.
They don’t even need to be glued down to stay in place, since they can replace the effectiveness of the mats that come with the car.
Instead of fully replacing the mat, some people will go with options that are a bit more hidden. This means that the aesthetic of the inside of the car has not changed at all, and people can still get the look they want.
There isn’t much added bulk at all to the vehicle, which is nice for drivers who don’t want it to appear like they actually did anything. This hidden level of noise control is impressive for any guests who ride inside.
Sound Insulation Foam
For material that is a bit more hidden and goes in specific places, sound insulation foam (Amazon) is another option that many have relied on for years.
The same type of material is used in traditional cars with non-electric engines can be used here as well.
There are usually some lighter options that might be still suitable for electric drivers, instead of having to add anything too bulky. The bulky options are mostly for vehicles that need a lot of help.
Sound insulation foam usually is easy to apply without having a professional to help out. However, those who might be a little hesitant to do things themselves can always get someone to help out.
Sound insulation foam can go underneath mats, or they can actually be installed into car cavities so that everything sounds great.
The good thing is that everything is hidden, and the foam will last a very long time as well when installed correctly. It holds up under a lot of normal wear and tear, which is always nice.
Is sound insulation foam better than using noise dampening mass and pads? Some people show favoritism towards either option.
One of the benefits of sound insulation foam is that it also will work as a way to help control temperature.
This is not really needed as much with an electric vehicle as it is with older vehicles that might be showing their age a bit, as most companies do a great job of sealing everything off.
Still, insulation foam feels a little bit more like noise control, while noise-damping mats and pads are a pretty quick fix.
EPDM Panel Plugs
Using EPDM panel plugs (Amazon) might not be something that makes a ton of sense for some users out there.
After all, they can get pretty expensive, but those willing to spend extra money on electric cars might also feel the need to go this route.
Changing out the plugs so that they are EPDM helps with sound control a decent amount. It’s usually a change that is accompanied by other options out there.
By itself, just changing out the panel plugs is more of an aesthetic fix than anything. They are not going to make too much of a difference, but they do help out with sound as well as keeping things clean.
What a lot of electric vehicle owners started to see is that the outstanding sealing ability of the panel plugs are hard to ignore. They also do a good job of blocking any sound from entering the car in the first place.
Tire Tread Changes
Changing tire tread can actually be one way to reduce some of the sounds that is frustrating drivers.
Engineers have been working on different ways to reduce the amount of noise that comes from tires, and they’ve been able to have a pretty good amount of success.
One way that they’ve been able to do that is to create more white noise with tires, instead of something that is instantly recognizable.
There’s a thing called pitch sequencing, and air can get to the point where the sound is hard for the human ear to pick up and really notice.
Along with tire tread, there is a thought that airless tires are coming sooner rather than later. They can start to become mainstream, and that will reduce the sound as well.
Tires cause a lot of noise right now, but that might be a thing of the past sooner rather than later.
It will come at a cost like any type of technology early on, but most people who have the money and have been frustrated with sound in the past will not be afraid to make the investment.
Common Questions about Soundproofing an Electric Car
With some of the methods already discussed, it’s common for people to still have questions about soundproofing.
This might be the first time ever soundproofing anything, and electric vehicles are a little bit different than anything else out there.
The fact of the matter is, there are not a lot of tips and instructions out there for soundproofing electric vehicles just yet, mostly because the average person probably won’t need too much done.
However, those who really want to have a setup that works wonders for them will want to explore any type of option.
What Exactly is Sound Dampening?
Sound damping has been talked about a bit already in this article, but not everyone knows what it exactly means.
To achieve sound dampening, this means to prevent vibrations from hitting vehicle materials and the body. The way to do this is to reduce energy stored in an oscillation.
By slowing down the isolation system, there is less sound actually heard. Both duration and the size of the vibration can be reduced with certain materials.
Is it Unrealistic to Have a Completely Quiet Ride?
A lot of this depends on what a person considers completely quiet. Yes, a car that is in motion is never going to sound as quiet as a soundproof room.
There are just too many moving parts, and even the best materials are not going to make that much of an impact.
However, it can be very quiet compared to any other ride done before, which is saying something for people who are looking to make a change.
What Changes Away From a Car Help Reduce Noise?
Noise reduction doesn’t just stop at a car. In fact, many local municipalities are doing their part to reduce sound from the road as much as possible.
For starters, brick roads are either getting replaced completely or at least getting fixed up so that they are not extra bumpy and loud.
A brick road can add a lot of class to some neighborhoods, but if they are not kept up to standard, they could be nothing but a hindrance.
Another way to improve the sound coming from the road is going with this new type of rubberized asphalt. This is where recycled tires actually get mixed into regular asphalt to create roads.
Studies have been done that show that there is a significant reduction in noise, which is pretty impressive, to say the least. Even messing around with a grooving method with pavement can cut down on road noise.
How Can Killing Noise Enhance Music, Podcasts, Phone Calls, and More?
An electric vehicle should be clear enough from a sound perspective where people can really hear everything they want.
Some even go as far as trying to get it as quiet as a library. The good news is that more and more products come out to help achieve that goal.
Of course, there’s also the ability to upgrade the speakers in the car if the person wants to. Adding some additional pieces to the setup will ensure that the sound is just right.
Since many people are working on the go and staying plugged in, it makes sense to have soundproofing for the ultimate focus.
This is especially true once self-driving cars become more and more of the norm. What will happen is that many people will do work while they are traveling to work, and they want to turn the car into a mini library so that they can focus on everything.
What Does the Future Look Like for Soundproofing Electric Vehicles?
Some feel like electric vehicles eliminate the need to do any type of heavy-duty soundproofing. However, these cars are still going to have some problems, and they will only get worse as time goes on.
Once electric vehicles start to get older, they will also have a chance to wear out a bit and get louder and louder on the bottom.
The good news is that those really loud noises that can be super frustrating are gone. The engine is never going to be loud enough that it is causing sound issues.
In fact, many people who own electric vehicles understand that they can be driving a little too quietly down the road, causing pedestrians to not notice that they are nearby. Having artificial noise pumped out helps those sharing the road.
Improvements are always being made, and it’s getting closer and closer to making vehicles completely soundproof.
If any vehicles are going to become soundproof in the near future, they are definitely going to be the ones without a gas-powered engine inside.
Electric vehicles, by default, are quiet, but they have a chance to get even quieter.