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The “hacks” of the HBO series don’t quite understand how electric cars work (or sound)

  • Hacks, a TV show on HBO Max, features several electric cars.
  • The only problem is we can hear these EVs in multiple scenes making gasoline engine noises.
  • The Chevy Bolt EV, the Audi e-tron and the Nissan Leaf of the first generation each appear in different episodes.

    Electric cars are getting bigger and bigger every day and the new HBO Max show Hacks is full of them. The first-generation Chevy Bolt, Audi e-tron, and Nissan Leaf each appear in multiple episodes. But it seems that the show’s sound mixers don’t know that EVs don’t make the same sounds as gasoline cars.

    The biggest misstep comes in episode seven, when the character Ava, played by Hannah Schwier, DJ (Kaitlin Olson) and her fiancé in her gray Chevy Bolt EV is chauffeured to a drive-through wedding band. At some point in the park Ava accidentally puts her foot on the gas and a loud engine roar briefly interrupts the process. But in reality, tapping the accelerator pedal in a bolt wouldn’t do anything like that, since there’s no gasoline engine under the hood and its quiet electric motor wouldn’t be able to generate such an interruption, especially when parked.

    HBO max

    A similar problem reappears in episode eight when the character Marcus, played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins, goes to the servant to get his Audi e-tron. Again we hear the distinctive soundtrack of a gasoline engine as the electric SUV pulls up. Many electric cars, including the e-tron, play a distinctive noise at lower speeds to alert pedestrians of their presence, but it sounds more like a spaceship than an internal combustion engine.

    And while we’re on the subject, we can also point to another scene in episode eight that involves a gasoline car – an Infiniti QX50. When Deborah Vance, played by Jean Smart, starts driving recklessly in a parking lot, we hear a roar that clearly sounds like a V-8, even though the Infiniti is actually powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder that doesn’t make nearly the same roar.

    While there is much to enjoy in this gritty comedy about an established Las Vegas-resident comedian (Smart) who reluctantly hires a young writer (Bender) to help, mistakes like us take car enthusiasts out of the imagination. Maybe we can help out as auto consultants in season 2? In the meantime, you can stream all ten episodes of the first season of Hacks on HBO Max.

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