Nissan Leaf Races Silently Through Town

It is unusual to see cars maneuver through towns silently, but it is what Nissan did with its Leaf.

To mark the 19th annual International Noise Awareness Day (INAD), Nissan said it invaded the streets of one of Europe’s quietest villages during the middle of the night with a silent “ride” with its 100 percent electric Nissan Leaf.

The activity, complete with a start and finish line in Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur, was designed to demonstrate the noise reduction levels of the zero emissions car compared to traditional combustion engines.

Nissan explained the World Health Organization (WHO) states at least 13.5 percent of Europeans are exposed to road traffic noise at levels exceeding 55 dB, which is considered detrimental to human health.

Ed note: This WHO assessment may be so, but the same 55 decibel figure was cited as quiet enough to be considered stealthy for a special electric hybrid motorcycle used in sneak attacks by U.S. forces.

The medical effects of noise levels include insomnia (50dB), obesity (50dB), psychic disorders (60dB) and reduction in life expectancy (50dB). As a result, Nissan has filmed a ‘silent ride’ to help support INAD in raising awareness about noise pollution levels across Europe.

The video stunt, filmed by Nissan in one of Europe’s quietest villages in the early hours of the morning, shows four Nissan Leaf vehicles racing around the backstreets at high speeds without waking anyone up. Nissan added members of the village were filmed while they slept to monitor their reactions.

Per the company, the running noise of the Nissan LEAF engine is 21dB, recording less noise than a ceiling fan (26dB) – which is way below the World Health Organization’s night time noise target for Europe (40dB).

Launched by the Center for Hearing and Communication (CHC), INAD aims to raise awareness about the dangers of exposure to noise on hearing and health – including emotional and physical health problems such as impaired mental performance, high blood pressure and increased risk of motor vehicle injuries.

“International Noise Awareness Day was initiated by the Center for Hearing and Communication in 1995 in order to increase public awareness about the harmful effects of noise on hearing, health, and general well-being,” said Laurie Hanin, Executive Director for the Center for Hearing and Communications. “As a result, many thousands have had their hearing screened and many more have been educated in the numerous ways to prevent exposure to hazardous levels of noise. It is exciting to see Nissan showing off the benefits of their all-electric car, the Nissan Leaf, in this video highlighting that as well as being friendly to the environment, it is also friendly to the community by reducing noise pollution. Congratulations and good luck in this endeavor.”