Electric 'car' fright

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Electric 'car' fright

Postby chocjohn9 » Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:56 pm

Someone overtaking and missing me by inches is never good, but today I was happily enjoying the sunny spin down a fairly wide country lane when an electric Renault Twizy passed by, well within my comfort zone.....My goodness, I jumped out of my skin.
The shock of not hearing it coming, the unexpected alien looking lump of metal and plastic and the fact that it was very close, really isn't on and I suppose we are going to have to get used to this sort of thing. I thought the manufacturers were going to give these 'cars' a noise so people like us lot would be able to brace ourselves for a drive by....

For those who don't know what one is, there are 3 photos here (the last one is ironic) -
http://www.renault.be/nl/gamma-renault/ ... tijden.jsp
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby Vantage » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:09 pm

When I'm not in my own little world listening to my MP3 player, I usually hear tyre rumble before engine noise. A rear view mirror helps a lot although obviously, you can't check it continuously.
Closely passing tipper trucks though are a different matter entirely :evil:
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby rualexander » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:10 pm

chocjohn9 wrote:For those who don't know what one is, there are 3 photos here (the last one is ironic) -
http://www.renault.be/nl/gamma-renault/ ... tijden.jsp


Or for those that don't read flemish/dutch or whatever it is http://www.renault.co.uk/cars/electric- ... izy/twizy/
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby cjchambers » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:12 pm

There's a pizza shop in Bath has one of those Twizy things for deliveries. I imagine it's pretty clapped out, all that uphill and downhill, stop and start.

chocjohn9 wrote:I thought the manufacturers were going to give these 'cars' a noise so people like us lot would be able to brace ourselves for a drive by....

Yes, but I hope they don't - the noise pollution from cars is one of their more objectionable characteristics. If they're going to add artificial noise, they might as well add 'choking fume generators' :wink:
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby iviehoff » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:49 pm

chocjohn9 wrote:Someone overtaking and missing me by inches is never good, but today I was happily enjoying the sunny spin down a fairly wide country lane when an electric Renault Twizy passed by, well within my comfort zone.....My goodness, I jumped out of my skin.

I recently suffered a shock from a close overtake I couldn't hear. To make it worse, it was on my inside and I was just starting to turn left, which I hadn't thought necessary to indicate as there were no pedestrians nearby. As you have guessed, it was another bicycle that overtook me.

For a cyclist to complain about silent overtakes is a bit pot and kettle. Having other, more dangerous, silent vehicles on the road will hopefully produce a learning process in which pedestrians (and cyclists) learn to appreciate that they can't just listen, they have to look. I really hope that brrrm-tones aren't brought in. Electric cars largely remove the environmental detriment of engine noise, at least at lower speeds, since tyre noise is more important at higher speeds, and to reintroduce it deliberately would be a great shame.
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby Cunobelin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:21 pm

cjchambers wrote:There's a pizza shop in Bath has one of those Twizy things for deliveries. I imagine it's pretty clapped out, all that uphill and downhill, stop and start.

chocjohn9 wrote:I thought the manufacturers were going to give these 'cars' a noise so people like us lot would be able to brace ourselves for a drive by....

Yes, but I hope they don't - the noise pollution from cars is one of their more objectionable characteristics. If they're going to add artificial noise, they might as well add 'choking fume generators' :wink:


"Catch 22"

There is a lot of evidence that people "look and listen", but often if they can't hear anything then they don't look.

If we leave electric vehicles silent, then there will be a number of injuries and deaths that the motoring lobby can exploit to ensure that petrol remains King

Noise generators are at the moment the only way that dozy pedestrians are going to notice these vehicles.
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby Cunobelin » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:24 pm

James Martin the "Celebrity" Chef has an opinion on quiet electric vehicles, in this case the Tesla Electric sports car:


"Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong – and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists," he said.

"Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed.

"The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror."
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby 661-Pete » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:45 pm

Cunobelin wrote:James Martin the "Celebrity" Chef has an opinion on quiet electric vehicles, in this case the Tesla Electric sports car:

<utter **** not worth repeating>
Have you got a source or link for this piece of vile garbage?
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby RickH » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:53 pm

Old news - but it is quoted in this Road.CC item from 2009.

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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby 661-Pete » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:58 pm

RickH wrote:Old news - but it is quoted in this Road.CC item from 2009.

Rick.

Hmmmm.... the Daily Fail .... I might have guessed. :evil:
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby 661-Pete » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:04 pm

Back to the topic - I'm surprised that people find the Twizy completely silent. Someone at the end of our street used to own one, and I distinctly remember the hum or whine of the motor as it beetled past. Admittedly, nothing like the purr (or roar) of your typical infernal combustion, but definitely quite audible. There are going to be more and more electric cars on our roads, whether battery-only or hybrids. If they are that quiet, maybe we just have to get used to the fact.

I might also add, anyone visiting a city overseas with trolleybuses (there are plenty in Eastern Europe) - beware!
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby squeaker » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:58 am

chocjohn9 wrote:I thought the manufacturers were going to give these 'cars' a noise so people like us lot would be able to brace ourselves for a drive by....
Within the EU, yes :( Implementation date TBA (AFAIK).
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby JimL » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:18 am

661-Pete wrote: If they are that quiet, maybe we just have to get used to the fact.



Agreed.

And presumably pedestrians will start to look before stepping onto the road in front of silent cyclists.
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby TwoPlusTen » Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:19 am

661-Pete wrote:Back to the topic - I'm surprised that people find the Twizy completely silent. Someone at the end of our street used to own one, and I distinctly remember the hum or whine of the motor as it beetled past. Admittedly, nothing like the purr (or roar) of your typical infernal combustion, but definitely quite audible. There are going to be more and more electric cars on our roads, whether battery-only or hybrids. If they are that quiet, maybe we just have to get used to the fact.

I might also add, anyone visiting a city overseas with trolleybuses (there are plenty in Eastern Europe) - beware!

I agree with you. Not sure what noise the Twizy (odd name!) generates, but there's plenty of it. I was following one for about a mile while driving home from work a couple of days ago and it looks and sounds like a quad bike with a roof bar. Expensive too, apparently.

EDIT: Supposed to be 100% electric. Not sure what was making that noise then...
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Re: Electric 'car' fright

Postby squeaker » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:23 am

TwoPlusTen wrote:EDIT: Supposed to be 100% electric. Not sure what was making that noise then...
In car entertainment? :lol:
More seriously, it has a traction motor, a gearbox, and tyres interacting with the road surface, so it makes a noise; just not the noise that most associate with cars powered by infernal combustion engines...
Back to the OP, I get 'jumped' by silent vehicles too: usually on steep hills when someone on a sub 10kg road bike sprints by :roll:
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