Five sounds to add to electric cars to make them less f**king creepy

THE silent smugness of an approaching electric car can scare you shitless. What sounds could be added as a warning?


Adding a plinky-plonky medieval ditty used by ice-cream vans would be a pleasant way to alert people to the approach of an electric car. On the downside, it could attract children banging on the windows demanding Nobbly Bobblys and generating entirely the wrong type of attention envisioned when buying a Tesla.

Clown car

Adding the sound of a real car would be boring, so to prevent pedestrians being caught unawares electric cars could emit the ‘phut-phut’ noise of a circus clown car, complete with a parping comedy horn. This would dissipate creepiness, and satisfyingly puncture the smugness of the driver who thinks they’re special because they can afford to blow £20,000 on a car.

Horse hooves

The bucolic sound of clip-clopping horses would make a long trip up the M6 feel like a nostalgic journey into an imagined past when times were simpler. Probably the preferred choice of a Brexiter with a Vauxhall Corsa-e, though the Benny Hill theme tune would come a close second.


Coldplay are ecologically minded, except when they’re flying a private jet across the Atlantic to play one song at the BRITs, so it makes sense that electric cars should play their miserable emo-indie hits as they glide along. Who doesn’t want to hear Chris Martin whining out ‘Yellow’ as they walk to Tesco? Well, pretty much everyone.

The theme from Psycho

Why not add some drama to a busy Saturday morning high street by having Bernard Herrmann’s famously frightening theme music wafting from a passing Nissan Leaf. It won’t be much creepier than their current silence and will making queuing for the post office a lot more atmospheric.

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Knight Rider and other childhood shows whose universes didn’t make a lot of sense

EVEN as a small child you had an inkling that certain beloved TV shows were a bit illogical. With hindsight, here’s why. 

Knight Rider 

Michael Knight was spread pretty thinly, and KITT was a super-intelligent, self-aware AI, so probably merited a wider role than being stuck in a car. Sure enough, they had weirdly trivial – some might say ‘cheap’ – adventures like taking on a biker gang or Michael Knight’s evil double.


Oil business soap with very little oil business. Okay, it was a soap, but was it wise to make decisions on the basis of a bitter rivalry with your ex-wife? Even a child suspected that murder and plastic surgery doubles (did script writers have any other ideas then?) were not part of Esso or Shell’s core business.


An antiques dealer who solved crimes including murder (several times). You were dimly aware of the statistical improbability of a non-policeman encountering crime everywhere, like a geography teacher stumbling on a serial killer every week. After similarly implausible dual careers, eg. Father DowlingDiagnosis Murder, they may as well make that.

Street Hawk

An ex-cop on a hi-tech motorbike fights crime, blah blah blah, you know the score. But why rely on just one man? It’s a question also hanging over Knight Rider – why not scale up the operation and have whole police departments of Street Hawks across the US?

Space 1999

In another huge TV coincidence, just as Moonbase Alpha is blown out of orbit every kind of alien starts showing up nearby. Also, how quickly was the moon travelling? They’d all be dead long before leaving the solar system, especially at Martin Landau and Barbara Bain’s age.

The A-Team

Set in a surreal universe with no consequences or anyone concerned about weirdos haphazardly firing off automatic weapons. Though, in fairness, kids would have been permanently traumatised if Hannibal, BA Baracus et al were slaughtered in a bleak Waco-style massacre.