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Have we been overthinking EV sounds?

Pedestrians and cars move through midtown Manhattan traffic.
Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images

For years, automakers have been fussing over the sounds emitted by their electric vehicles, trying to tune them in a way that both presents as futuristic while also not alienating to people who are used to the rev of a four-cylinder engine.

They seem to have settled on a series of sounds that could best be described as somewhere in between a whir and a hum. Others would say it sounds like a flying saucer — and not always in a good way. But according to a new survey, most people may prefer something else entirely.

The online survey of 400 adults in the US found the top-rated sound was a “non-tonal” sound more closely resembling a gas-powered car than any of…

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