Automotive Nissan LEAF Canto

Published on July 13th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Nissan LEAF Has A New ‘Canto’ Sound To Alert Pedestrians

The Nissan LEAF will be updated with a new ‘Canto’ sound for when it moves.

As you might know, electric cars are almost silent. The lower the speed, the quieter they are. In many markets, it’s mandatory for electric vehicles to emit noises at lower speeds in order to alert pedestrians and other road users of their presence.

These noises are called Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS). The story here is that Nissan is updating the AVAS on their LEAF with something a little more fancy-sounding called ‘Canto’.

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Here’s what it sounds like:

This new ‘Canto’ sound effect was crafted at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe and works up to 30km/h. It will be featured on Model Year 2021 Nissan LEAFs and beyond.



Nissan announces the start of sales for the 100% electric LEAF model year 2021. The recharged LEAF boasts enhanced safety features for a more confident electric driving experience for both drivers and pedestrians around the car.

LEAF MY21 will come equipped with a new Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) named ‘Canto’ by Nissan. Fully compliant with the new European regulations, the AVAS has been specifically designed to transmit artificially simulated driving sounds, alerting road users of the presence of a 100% electric vehicle.

As pioneers in electrification Nissan incorporated a form of alerting sound from the first-generation Nissan LEAF to ensure all road users are aware of an approaching electric car.

In 2017, during his appointment within the Nissan Global team in Japan, Marco Fioravanti, Regional Vice President, Product Planning at Nissan AMIEO, had the unique opportunity to drive forward the creation of what would become the signature brand sound for all Nissan Electric Vehicles. Embarking on the process to develop ‘Canto’, Marco and his team ensured customer satisfaction and safety were central to the composition of this unique feature.

In addition, LEAF MY21 offers the perfect blend of smart driving, connectivity and sustainable mobility equipped with In-Car Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Intelligent Blind Spot Intervention (IBSI) and Intelligent Rear View Mirror (IRVM) as standard for an engaging drive and reassuring experience behind the wheel.

Introducing ‘Canto’

100% electric motors are considered zero-emission not only in terms of CO2, but also noise pollution by being quieter than combustion engines. To maximise awareness for all users of the road, Nissan partnered with an elite team of sound designers to create ‘Canto’ sound, the company’s bespoke sonic identity for electric vehicles.

The ‘Canto’ has been carefully created by sound designers and engineers at Nissan Japan; locally adapted for Europe at Nissan Technical Centre Europe using a spectrum of sonic palettes. The sound has been purposely composed to ensure it varies in tone and pitch depending on whether the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating, or reversing.

Automatically activated when travelling at speeds up to 30km/h, ‘Canto’ carefully complements its surroundings and is clearly audible, without being too alarming to pedestrians, residents and passengers.

Customised experience 

The ‘Canto’ sounds in Nissan LEAF has been expertly engineered and optimised with the European Customer in mind. From considering the way humans hear and process sound waves, to ensuring the composition is clearly audible in cities and streets, this bespoke edition of ‘Canto’ will be a welcome addition to the soundscape of European streets.

“After engineering the ‘Canto’ sound, we installed it to the LEAF MY21 to enable us to carry out both subjective and objective evaluations to better match the expectations of the European customer,” noted Paul Speed-Andrews, Noise and Vibration Development Manager at Nissan Technical Centre Europe. “It was important that we not only created a sound that aligned with the new regulations, but also matched Nissan’s brand image. We have always been pioneers in safety and innovation and it is great to know we are helping to shape the future of electrification”, continued Paul. 

To bring to life the story of ‘Canto‘ and its adaption for Europe, Nissan profiles Paul Speed-Andrews, Noise and Vibration Development Manager at Nissan Technical Centre Europe in the latest video instalment, ‘Soundscaping European Streets.’

Following the unveil of EV36Zero, a £1 billion flagship Electric Vehicle (EV) Hub and world-first EV manufacturing ecosystem, Nissan continues to accelerate its efforts in Europe to achieve carbon neutrality.

LEAF MY21 will be available in model 40kWh across grades: Visia, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna and 62kWh models across grades: Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna.

To learn more about Nissan LEAF and Nissan products on Nissan Europe consumer sites, visit

Join Nissan’s ‘Electrify the World’ movement on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn and using the hashtag #ElectrifyTheWorld.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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