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Have you ever felt faster or different while driving, depending on the song playing? Maybe heavier music made you go quicker or drive a little more aggressively than usual. Is that all in your head, or does music change your car’s behavior? Kia recently performed a trial to answer that question using its electric vehicle, the Kia EV6. As it turns out, drivers who listen to Beethoven get increased EV range.

Kia says listening to Beethoven increases your EV’s range.

Kia conducted a study which proved drivers who listen to Beethoven get increased Ev range. Using a Kia EV6 electric vehicle.
Kia EV6 GT-Line S | Kia

According to Kia’s trial, playing Beethoven’s “Symphony No.9” inside an electric vehicle made it more efficient. Contrastly, the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” had the opposite effect. Listening to the Weeknd’s song actually made the car’s battery drain more quickly. Kia’s playlist consisted of various songs from different genres to push the limits of how the vehicle could change its behaviors.

CarScoops reported Kia’s playlist used these songs in this exact order:

  • Tycho – Awake
  • Adele – Hello
  • The Weeknd – Blinding Lights
  • Anna Meredith – Nautilus
  • Kanye West – Fade
  • Beethoven – Symphony No.9

As a result, participants drove up to four times more efficiently while listening to Beethoven than other songs. Contrarily, Blinding Lights made the drivers twice as inefficient. According to CarScoops, that’s because of the up-tempo beat that makes drivers step on the gas more. Consequently, more power and performance drain the battery faster. Lastly, Adele’s famous song “Hello” was right between the two extremes.

How did Kia test how songs impact EV range?

Kia conducted a study which proved drivers who listen to Beethoven get increased Ev range. Using a Kia EV6 electric vehicle.
Kia EV6 and one of the study overseers | Kia

Firstly, a Kia EV6 GT-Line S was the EV of choice for the experiment. The electric model uses a 14-speaker Meridian Audio sound system to boost its range. Multiple participants who had never driven an EV before took the EV6 on an 18-mile route. Moreover, the way consisted of a healthy combination of residential roads, traffic-congested city streets, and open winding country roads.

Each driver listened to the same playlist in identical order, all at the same volume and sound settings. Using an Empatica E4 medical-grade wearable device, Kia recorded their biometric measurements. The drivers expended 22.48 miles of range over the 18-mile course. Classical music accounted for 7.7 percent, ballads for 13.3 percent, and up-tempo pop accounted for 23.6 percent.

Listen to Beethoven, get increased EV range

Kia’s study was conducted by Dr. Duncan Williams, a lecturer at the University of Salford’s School of Science, Engineering, and Environment. In addition, Dr. Williams is also an expert in acoustics, noise, psychoacoustics, and sound science.

“What we found from only two days of testing was that music really can have a dramatic influence on the real-world driving range of an electric vehicle. Different songs resulted in varying electrodermal activity and blood volume increase for each of the participants. This had a knock-on effect on driving style, and ultimately influenced the real-world driving range of the EV6. In short: if you want to go further, listen to the likes of Beethoven and other relaxing classical music. If you’re not worried about range dropping a little more quickly, by all means, put on some more high tempo tracks,” Dr. Duncan Williams said, following the conclusion of the tests.

Are you willing to turn off your favorite songs and listen to Beethoven while driving? Calming music calms the driver, whether they realize it or not. As a result, less aggressive and fast driving makes for better overall efficiency. We’re sure the same goes for a gas-powered model, but listening to Beethoven will make your fuel tank last longer. In conclusion, drivers who listen to Beethoven get increased EV range, according to Kia.


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