By Gary Gastelu
Published October 07, 2019
Teslas don’t emit any gaseous fumes, but they may soon sound like they do. Just not the ones that come out of other vehicles. Elon Musk tweeted on Sunday that Tesla owners will soon be able to customize the sounds of their vehicles' horns and pedestrian safety alerts.
Since they’re so quiet, new government regulations will require next year that electric cars broadcast an external sound at speeds under 20 mph to warn pedestrians, especially those with limited vision. Some full electrics and hybrids already do this voluntarily, but Tesla only recently added the feature to its Model 3, which emits a “pink” noise while going forward and an electronic hum in reverse that makes it sound like a 1950s sci-fi movie UFO.
However, Musk said that new sounds are on the way, including clapping coconuts, which is the classic way to simulate the sound of a galloping horse. Using emojis, Musk suggested that you’ll also be able to make the cars sound like they are passing gas or bleating like a goat.
Teslas already have a whoopee cushion feature that can make flatulent sounds when you engage the turn signal, or on command to prank other passengers. There’s also a “more cowbell” setting that riffs off of a classic Saturday Night Live sketch.
Along with the new noises, Musk appeared to confirm the addition of another feature when one follower suggested that Tesla add a horn at the back of the car for when you’re reversing out of a parking space, to which Musk replied “Done.”
It's not clear if the sound effects will be for the primary horn or an auxiliary on-demand alert. The original Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid allowed drivers to play a low volume chirp to politely warn anyone near the vehicle of its presence.