Pupils at Shenington Primary School in Oxfordshire were the first to experience new technology designed to make electric cars louder and therefore safer.
Independent data from the US suggests that pedestrians are twice as likely to be knocked down by an electric or hybrid car because it makes less sound than petrol or diesel equivalents.
Engineers from acoustics specialists HARMAN, in partnership with Lotus, have developed a sound synthesis technology, HALOsonic, that emits a range of sounds to signal when an electric car is approaching.
The children got to hear the demonstration car, a Toyota Prius, make a range of sounds including a V12 supercar and a spaceship sound (the most popular!).
Legislation is already being drafted in some countries (including Japan) where the increasing number of electric cars, particularly in an urban environment, present a growing problem for pedestrians and cyclists.
Kay Robinson, marketing manager of HARMAN, said: “Our generation is accustomed to cars making an engine-like sound and electric cars can sometimes take us by surprise.
“We wanted to show the children at Shenington that electric cars in the future could make a variety of sounds, and for them to experience the type of sounds we are experimenting with.”
HARMAN says that the technology will be on a production electric car within 18 months.
For more information contact Nick Bailey on 07813 956664.