Nissan has added a new pedestrian alert sound to the Leaf electric vehicle.

Whisper quiet, particularly around car parks, electric vehicles need more than the sound of tyres rolling on the ground to alert pedestrians and cyclists that they are coming. For Nissan, the answer is ‘Canto’.

A new pedestrian alert sound which Nissan first flagged it was developing in 2017, Canto increases the safety of the Leaf and Leaf+.

Updated for the 2021 model, the Nissan Leaf will feature the new sound generator which provides an audible warning to passers-by. The sound itself is said to mimic that of a combustion engine and is the work of engineers in Nissan’s home country Japan.

Sound generators on electric cars are not terribly new and have become mandatory on new EVs hitting the market.

Nissan Europe’s vice-president for product planning, Marco Fioravanti says: “Customer safety is paramount, not only for those behind the wheel but those surrounding the car as well.”

“As the world becomes more and more electrified, this sound will soon become part of the soundscape of our roads as Nissan’s signature EV sound, moving us closer to our goal of a zero-fatality driving experience.”


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.


  1. I am still wondering how the new Nissan Leaf EV, a small car, can compete with much larger vehicles with lower retail prices, eg; Isuzu MU-X RWD Wagon diesel that also offers much greater range and much faster refuelling than recharging even to the recommended 80 per cent EV level.

    1. Well I can give you 3 reasons, firstly resale value in 5 years time, IMO the resale value of an ICE vehicle will plummet in future years when very few people will want them because EVs will perform better.

      Secondly, running costs, many people don’t want to pay for the fuel and servicing costs of a large ICE that are only going to increase with time and forward thinking people are willing to pay a higher upfront cost to avoid them.

      Thirdly, environmentally aware people want to contribute towards the efforts to control global warming. Even though individually they know it will make next to no difference, collectively any reduction in emissions will help.

      1. MU-X is a 7 seat wagon with only RWD and retail price $43,900 according to NRMA while the cheapest Leaf is $49,990 for a 4 seat occasional cramped 5 seat and considerably less legroom and luggage capacity.

        On the other hand an ICEV equivalent to Leaf, say Nissan Qashgai is $28,590

        My discussions with people who have no preference and just want affordable transport that suits them indicate that EV is a luxury level priced car, real obtainable range inferior to ICEV equivalents and recharging infrastructure only a fraction of outlets for fuel and refuelling takes a few minutes instead of around 40-60 minutes for 80% recharge and therefore range limitation.

        As for environment, most of the electricity here comes from fossil fuel powered generators and despite the fairy tales. will remain so for the foreseeable future, even Germany is reverting to a gas pipeline supply and buying electricity from neighbouring country’s power stations.

        EV were first sold late 1800s and by the early 1900s the Ford Model T released soon stopped EV sales for many of the reasons that remain today when buyers consider their options and motoring needs.

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