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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.




  • Jazrod

    I think the whole space-ship like noises are a joke . . . lol.

    The second one sounds the best, but it’s a tad misleading for an EV Ford Focus!

    • andronicus

      Agreed. Its like a Jetsons car. I understand the need for them BUT do they have to sound so dorky?

      D is probably the best IMO.

  • Shak

    Like a catfish. It already has the mouth for it, so why not give it the sound.

    • Baddass

      Can’t say I’ve heard a catfish Shak, you must have very sensitive ears.

  • Mikey

    All of them & more… let the driver decide which to use depending on mood :)

  • AR

    Test sound ‘D’ is the suitable one.

  • Sprint

    Can’t they give people the option to choose which sound they want?

    How about more interesting sounds like a tuned V8, rotary or F1 engines?

  • Westie

    How about sounding like an Escort rally car, with the Cosworth BDA singing along at 8000 rpm?
    Wouldn’t that get the fun police stressing!

  • http://caradvice Onepoppa

    I prefer D – but whatever it is it will sound like success – a real step forward if only Ford Australia can see beyond its Falcon mindset.

  • PoisonEagle

    D. I always like the spaceship warp speed sound the newest trains make, it’s futuristic and rad.

  • BrisVegas

    Does Ford still own Aston Martin? If so, then V12 Aston Martin thanks.

  • Valet Dabess

    all of them xcept for number 2 sound like a flying saucer

  • Bill

    definitely the Jetsons sound changing to a deep bark when approaching pedestrians :)

  • Phil

    Surely this is the least important aspect of this car?

    I’m more interested in whether or not they will actually sell it – and at what price?

    In any case, I’m sure they could put all four sounds into the car and u just select your preferred one with a switch.

  • BK

    give it the sound of an XE 351

  • Spectre7

    They have already done lots of testing with visually impaired people in Europe and they always come up recommending that they sound like a traditional car, they know how it sounds and understand what it is, all the crazy sounds confuse the people involved, is it a car or is it something else. Living in Shanghai at moment i wish all the elctric scooters had some sort of sound generetor specially in evening as they do not use headlights much you sometimes almost end up getting run down.

  • Nath746

    Make it sound like a mustang (the original). I also like the idea of being able to change the noise. Ford could have an online database where customers could download a new sound file for their car…

  • Corkas

    Cant wait for all them turners to get into adding fully sick exhaust notes to there cars

    :)

    and just while where on the topic.
    what about all the small cars on the road today that run near silent. shouldn’t they have this exhaust thing as well..
    It doesn’t matter to a blind person if the car is electric or petrol if it makes nothing but road noise, it will still feel the same when it hits them.

  • Cor van de Water

    It should be silent.
    Why make additional noise when it is already one of the bigger problems that there is almost no place where you can be free from constant man-made noise?
    Are cars dangerous for pedestrians in general and blind people in particular? You bet! But that has nothing to do
    with the car and everything with the misplaced idea that
    some drivers have, where they feel the need to do something
    else than pay attention to their handling of a lethal weapon. Also plenty people step into the street without
    looking if it is safe to cross. Adding noise to a vehicle will not change either of those, it
    will only allow pedestrians to notice that they are going
    to be run over just before the inattentive driver actually mows them down.
    I repeat, EVs are and should stay silent, it has no merit
    to make them noisy and it does have drawbacks. People actually get sick from too much noise. That is why it is called noise pollution.

  • Hung Low

    I want mine sounding like the Mazda 787b Racer!

  • BOSSCR

    Sound D.

    BTW, I saw the new Focus on the Geelong freeway yesterday. It looks better in the flesh than in the photos (thankfully).

  • Sonic

    I’d personally choose ‘C’. It sounds like something out of star trek. :)
    ‘D’ is a close second, and ‘B’ sounds like a wheel rubbing against a wheel arch (the same sound my old Celica makes when it turns around sharp corners).

  • bangel

    Like a crummerdore V8 CIRCA 1985 , so FUNG HI and his bogan mates will feel at home .

  • AJDelayed

    The sound of a playing card in bike spokes.
    Or an F-18

  • john

    Give it the sound of a kenworth etc. That would be quite funny for pedestrians who stepped onto the road without looking, hear exhaust brakes, turn around stunned thinking a semi is about too pancake them and see a little focus instead!

  • JML

    Should sound like an Imperial TIE-fighter.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5_svSADYks

    • Steve-Poyza

      Couldn’t agree more!

  • Geoff

    Chances are it wont be long before you can download whatever soundtrack you want for your electric car

  • Comte Luís D’ Oliveira

    sound B – 1
    sound A – 2
    sound C – 3
    sound D – 4