Volvo came up with 4 different sounds for moving forward, speeding up, reversing and idling. They’re not particularly special, but they’re not obtrusive either, depends on how you look at it. It would have been more fun to add some truly unique sounds – this was a golden opportunity – but the brand wanted to choose something that would comply to the regulations without being too noisy.
According to Volvo, these sounds are loud enough to fulfill their warning purpose, but cannot penetrate through walls. And their intensity varies based on the speed. This way, pedestrians and cyclists can stay safe and, at the same time, the electric trucks are still quiet enough to not disturb other drivers and to perform nighttime deliveries.
It’s like that time when you’re describing your flaws disguised as qualities, for a job interview, saying “I’m too hard-working.” Volvo trucks are presented as being just so quiet that they needed to have sounds added to them. But the truth is that electric trucks’ lack of noise has both benefits and shortcomings.
With this new alert system, the brand hopes to make its green trucks even safer. But, while “zero accidents” involving its electric trucks sounds great, that’s not entirely up to Volvo.