European Environment Agency (EEA) data shows that some 100 million EU citizens are affected by high noise levels, negatively impacting their health. Traffic noise alone is harmful to the health of 40 million EU citizens Also, 8 million are regularly exposed to high traffic noise level at night. As discussed at the April 2017 Noise in Europe Conference, and as outlined in World Health Organization guidelines of October 2018, the increased stringency of EU noise reduction standards requires effective measures such as road surface and/or tyre improvements and better urban planning. The introduction of electric mobility is widely viewed as having the potential to reduce noise in urban areas, but the noise generated by tyres rolling on the road nevertheless needs careful study and further reduction.
The project will foster the application of Directive 2002/49/EC on the assessment and management of environmental noise and of Directive 996/2015/EC on establishing common noise assessment methods (CNOSSOS model), in the context of the promotion and use of electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles. The project will seek to develop a solution to reduce the rolling noise of electric and hybrid vehicle tyres in urban areas, taking account of the current best practices.
Specifically, the project will: build in Nantes a test road surface designed for the specific context of EVs and their tyres. At least five electric vehicle types (for example battery electric and plug-in hybrids) will betested on this surface, with three tyre types per vehicle, to identify the optimal combination for noise reduction. An internal combustion engine vehicle will be used as reference; carry out further testing in a pilot area in Florence, with construction of two road surfaces (each 150 metres long): one optimised surface and one reference surface; estimate the noise mitigation efficiency and potential of tyres, road surfaces and traffic through a life-cycle analysis and a life-cycle cost analysis; and calculate rolling noise coefficients according to the EU CNOSSOS model for the EV fleet in order to define guidelines on the application of the projects results.
Expected results: a reduction in the surface-tyre noise level with lifecycle costs comparable to standard road surfaces. The expected noise levels will be a LCPX (tyre road noise level indicator) below 90dBA for the reference road, which is the reference limit set out by the EU Green Public Procurement Criteria for Road Design, Construction and Maintenance, and below 87 dBA for the optimised road; about 2000 people will benefit from an estimated reduction in noise in the pilot area of at least 5 dBA; which is a good value, considering that the Lden (the day acoustic level) and the Lnight (night acoustic level) will be reduced from 66dBA to 61 dBA and from 57dBA to 52 dBA, respectively; a CO2 reduction of about 21 % because of electric car use in the pilot area; this could amount to 29 tonnes of reduced CO2 per year, calculated on the basis of a contribution from tyres of about 2 g CO2/km.
the project will contribute to the implementation of national and regional policies in Italy through the publication of guidelines on the use of the estimation methodology, which will be adopted by the regions of Tuscany and Calabria, and by Reggio Calabria city; specific actions will promote electric vehicles and raise awareness. An electric car festival will be organised to promote and support electric and sustainable mobility; encouragement of the take-up of low-noise surfaces elsewhere in the EU and outside the EU.