Teslas may be among the most formidable vehicles on the road today, but even as each of the company’s electric cars continually leaves behind a trail of victims on the drag strip, there is a good chance that an old anti-EV talking point will get thrown out by critics: “electric cars have no soul.” This is due in no small part to the fact that electric cars are silent when they operate, making them feel almost like a roller coaster when they accelerate.
Yet inasmuch as this is cool in itself, a good number of vehicle enthusiasts would argue that there is just something primal and intimate about driving and the roar of an engine. Few sensations match the feeling of speeding through a road with a nicely growling engine beneath the hood, after all. This is likely one of the reasons why some carmakers like Porsche and Ford have taken it upon themselves to create sounds for their all-electric vehicles.
The Porsche Taycan, being the first modern all-electric vehicle from the sports car-maker, features a deep, futuristic whine that was specifically tuned by the company. While it costs $500 extra, Porsche’s “Sport Sound” option does provide some much needed “soul” to the Taycan, making it feel very similar to its gas-powered siblings.
The same is true for the Ford Mustang Mach-E, one of the most highly-anticipated EVs from veteran automakers. Ford was so intent on providing an aural experience to its drivers that the company is coming up with a feature that broadcasts engine noises into the Mach-E’s cabin. This, similar to the Taycan, is done to ensure that customers get the classic “Mustang experience” when operating the all-electric crossover.
Tesla’s electric cars, on the other hand, are known for being extremely silent. Government-mandated pedestrian noisemakers aside, Tesla’s electric cars like the Model S could accelerate from 0-60 mph without so much of a whine. The Model 3, when in Track Mode, has been noted to exhibit an audible whine of sorts from its electric motors. And this, in a way, lies a missed opportunity for Tesla.
The fact is that Tesla’s electric motors actually sound really good. When activated to full power, Tesla’s electric motors produce a sound that is nothing short of futuristic, and not at all out of place in sci-fi franchises like Star Wars. It does, in more ways than one, invoke that all-too-elusive “soul” referenced by avid drivers. That high-pitched whine that sounds like a jet engine taking off embodies the raw power of electric cars, after all, not unlike how a V8 or V12 invokes the ferocity of an internal combustion engine.
More importantly, it is a genuine sound that is coming from actual electric motors, not something manufactured like the Taycan’s Sport Sounds or the Mach-E’s broadcasted noises in the cabin. If Tesla could come up with a way to amplify the sounds of its vehicles’ electric motors to the point where it is audible both within the cabin and perhaps even outside, then even the “EVs have no soul” argument would likely fall flat. Such an update, if any, would likely result in more Teslas getting driven just a little bit harder than usual.
Hear the raw sound of a Tesla electric motor in the video below.