EVs Are Quiet, But How Does Road Noise Compare?

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by Kivi

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08.19.2020



Some reports have said Tesla’s vehicles are noisier inside than many other electric cars. Others mention how quiet Teslas are. Can you hear the noise difference inside a Tesla Model Y compared to a Model 3? Which is quieter?

It’s all a matter of perception here. While a decibel meter may help us get a “scientific” idea of the total noise level, there are many factors impacting what a driver hears. If you’re coming from another EV, you may have a different idea of cabin noise than you do if you previously drove a gas car.

Most automakers go to great lengths to make their cars as quiet inside as possible. However, when it comes to gas-powered cars, and especially those with loud engines, part of the challenge is to mask the noise of the car itself. Once the necessary sound-reducing measures are taken, the car should let very little road, wind, and other outside noises in.

Electric cars are different since they’re already virtually silent. There’s no need to cover the sound of the powertrain. However, since the car itself makes almost no noise, outside sounds can be much more obvious.

With all of this said, it may be tough to compare cabin noise in a gas-powered car to that of an EV. Sure, you can measure it with a decibel meter, but is it registering the noise of the car’s powertrain or the road and wind noise? Both, of course, but when you’re inside you’ll realize that you may “notice,” “listen to,” and/or perceive these sound differently.

YouTube channel What Drives You takes us inside a Tesla Model Y and Model 3 to compare cabin noise while driving at 70 mph. Which one do you expect to be quieter? No matter which car you choose, there are steps you can take to reduce cabin noise. While your choice of tires has a lot to do with it, there are other tips and tricks here.



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