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USA: Ford Asks, ‘How Should The 2012 Ford Focus Electric Sound?’

Electric vehicles have upsides and downsides. On the upside, they crank out far fewer pollutants than their fossil-fuel-swilling cousins, and they may help ease dependence on foreign oil. On the downside, they’re quiet. Too quiet.

While some of you might find that a good thing, EV’s lack of sound poses a real threat for pedestrians, especially those with impaired vision. Don’t believe us? Just ask the National Federation of the Blind, which successfully lobbied Congress to pass the “Bell Bill” earlier this year, mandating that “silent vehicle technology” come with a distinct set of sounds to alert folks nearby.

And so, as the 2012 Ford Focus Electric creeps stealthily toward showrooms, Ford naturally wants to know, “What should this thing sound like?” The automaker is discussing the matter with safety technicians and audiologists, but Ford has also pitched the Focus problem to the biggest focus group on Planet Earth: Facebook.
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