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Construction firm tackles problem of quiet electric fleets

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A construction company that made the switch to electric vans has installed state-of-the-art safety tech to tackle the problem of how quiet the vehicles are.

Conway has made a substantial £7m investment across its fleet operating at its London sites in a bid to tackle high emissions in a sustainable way, as well as slash fuel expenses and pay zero road tax.

Yet one significant problem has been making driving the new vans difficult – the noise of a building site means workmen struggle to hear an approaching silent, electric van.

So Conway turned to the Quiet Vehicle Sounder (QVS), produced by leading automotive safety manufacturer Brigade Electronics.

Brigade’s Quiet Vehicle Sounder is designed to save lives by producing a distinctive replacement sound that can be heard clearly in danger zones but less so in other situations.

The sound is highly directional, enabling a pedestrian to tell where the vehicle is, and it varies in pitch and tone as the vehicle speeds up or slows down.

And a mix of frequencies ensures the QVS makes the vehicle instantly detectable and locatable.

Pat Murphy, reactive supervisor at Conway, said: “Before retrofitting the Quiet Vehicle Sounder it was stressful driving on to site not knowing if people would hear you.

“It was nearly impossible, especially in the morning when we were all arriving to work.

“Now the QVS makes sure everyone knows you’re there. It’s a made a world of difference.”

The QVS turns off at 20mph so noise disturbances are kept to a minimum when road noise generates enough sound that the vehicles can be heard.

But at lower speeds it emits a blend of Brigade’s bbs-tek® White Sound® frequencies and tonal sounds.

Conway also chose the QVS because of it’s ability to work in harsh conditions.

With dust, dirt and sand being common across construction sites, an alerting system that stays working in these harsh environments is vital.

Conway is now looking to fit the QVS to any electric vans added to their growing electric fleet, keeping sites across London both environmentally-friendly and ensuring safety is a priority.

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