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by Tim Beissmann

How should the all-new Ford Focus Electric sound?

That’s the question Ford is asking you, as it aims to involve consumers in the development of its first global passenger EV.

The Ford Electric Vehicles Facebook page is asking fans pick their favourite from four potential driving sounds for the new Focus Electric.

We’ve embedded them all in this story for you to listen to and make a call on. Once you’ve done that, feel free to rank the four sounds in the comments section below, or if you’re not a fan of any of them, tell us how you think it should sound.

As we know, one of the great advantages of electric cars is their near-silent operating mode. This is because there is no continuous internal combustion engine noise, as electricity simply flows from the battery to an electric motor to power the car. From a passenger comfort perspective, this is a terrific thing.

However, silent cars can also be dangerous, especially for blind people and pedestrians in general. The Japanese Government issued a set of sound guidelines for hybrid and electric vehicles in 2010, while in January this year Barack Obama signed off on a law for the US Department of Transport to develop hybrid and electric vehicle noise safety standards. Nissan, Chevrolet and Toyota were among the early adopters of artificial electric vehicle warning sounds.

The Ford Focus Electric will go on sale in selected US markets later this year before production ramps up in 2012. A European launch is expected late next year.

Ford Australia is yet to confirm when the Focus Electric will join the local line-up, although it is likely to be the first passenger EV the Blue Oval sells Down Under.