Obviously they are not COMPLETELY silent; there is wind noise, friction of the tires against the ground, turning axles etc.
Compared to the average gasoline fueled engine on the road, they are pretty silent. This is not to say they don’t make a sound, but automakers are concerned that these noiseless vehicles may pose a threat to pedestrians in the street, especially those who are visually impaired and depend on some noise to know whether it is safe to cross the street or not.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced a rule that requires automakers of the electric and hybrid vehicles to create vehicles that make a noise to alert pedestrians when they are nearby.
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