It felt weird being back in London for a few days last week - the pandemic has left me unused to crowds and Tubes and all of that. I noticed many things that pre-pandemic-Giles wouldn’t have paid a second’s thought to.
One of those things was vehicles, and the sounds they make.
The thing that really struck me in London was the ever-present hum of electric vehicles. Most of the Deliveroo and Just Eat riders in Whitechapel, where I was staying, were carrying their food deliveries on an e-bike. The primary cycle routes that run nearby were as much battery-powered as they were human-powered.
Every time I crossed a road, or every time I simply strolled along one, I heard the quiet hum of electric cars. They simmered and ticked their way into parking spaces. They stopped silent at traffic lights, then purred away at the green light.
London’s vehicles sound a lot more e, a lot more greener, than they did when I was last in London on the regular. (Which was March 2020, just before the first lockdown.)
I assume that something’s happened during the pandemic: the price of e-bikes, perhaps of some EVs, has gone through some lower barrier. They’ve become affordable and obvious. Everyone’s getting one, because with petrol the price it is, why wouldn’t you?
London has a new hum about it. Humdon.
It’s a good sound, I think.
Filed under: notes
(6 July 2022)