The Symphony of Electric Cars: Sound Marketing in the Auto Industry

Sept. 22, 2023 in Design & Décor by Julian Everett

new BMW i4

Having observed the abundance of electric cars in France, it's clear that they are gradually conquering the world, accounting for 11% of all cars in Europe.

Initially, electric cars were virtually soundless, a factor that posed significant safety concerns, especially for pedestrians. The absence of sound from these vehicles was an unexpected phenomenon, and it brought to light the need for a new dimension of user interaction and public safety. When a silent vehicle approaches from behind, should it honk loudly, or should the driver shout a warning?

Addressing this concern, the electric cars of today are anything but silent. The sounds they make are meticulously produced and broadcasted externally through speakers. These are not just random noises but are specially designed, pleasing hums that add a new layer to the driving experience.

new BMW i4

Take the new BMW i4, for instance. The automaker enlisted the genius of Hans Zimmer, an 11-time Oscar nominee for his soundtracks to films like "Gladiator," "Dune," and "Pirates of the Caribbean," to create the sounds for this electric vehicle. Every door opening welcomes the driver with a pleasant purr, different buttons have distinct sounds, and undoubtedly, months of development go into designing the sound of the engine starting – a favorite for car enthusiasts. In reality, electric cars don't naturally make any of these sounds.

I have a particular admiration for this type of marketing. At first glance, it seems nothing special, but behind these sounds are award-winning producers, million-dollar developments, and a significant impact on the subconscious mind. This exemplifies how sound marketing is subtly yet profoundly reshaping the user experience in the electric vehicle sector.

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