In the build up to the imminent launch of the Nissan Leaf, the world's first big-production all-electric car - and being built in Tyne and Wear, too - the EU is investigating whether artificial noises should be added to these 'near silent' electric cars to reduce risks to cyclists and pedestrians.
According to an article in The Times, manufacturers are already testing noises that could be added to electric and hybrid cars, with white noise, computer noise and the Star Wars theme tune some sounds already considered.
Warwick University is working with car manufacturers in the West Midlands, assessing various sounds by projecting them from a test vehicle and assessing the response of pedestrians.
Professor Paul Jennings told the paper: "We will have a week with music and weeks with natural sounds, engine noise and also with science-fiction sounds.
"We need to find noises which alert people to the approaching vehicle without causing the annoyance people already feel when they hear the bleeping sounds of reversing trucks."
The industry believes that artificial sounds would only be necessary below 20mph because faster vehicles create enough tyre noise to be heard.
Here at road.cc we think that adding artificial sounds to 'near silent' electric cars is only one step away from forcing cyclists to ride along continuously ringing their bells which might only be a logical step bearing in mind how pedestrians are prone to lurch into the road without looking.
Far better, we think, to enjoy the peace and quiet of 'silent' cars and train people to look before they cross the road.
However, common sense never carried much weight with EU directives, as far as we can see. If we have to have added sounds, what do road.cc users think would be great ones to add to electric cars?
Our bid is for Noddy's car's little 'weep weep weep' What does everyone else think.