HBO Series ‘Hacks’ Doesn’t Quite Get How Electric Cars Work (or Sound) – About Your Online Magazine


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

    Electric cars are becoming more and more a thing every day, and the new HBO Max program Hacks it’s full of them. The Chevy Bolt, Audi e-tron and first-generation Nissan Leaf make appearances in several episodes. But it seems that the sound mixers at the show don’t know that EVs don’t make the same sounds as gasoline cars.

    The biggest mistake comes in episode seven, when the character Ava, played by Hannah Einbinder, is a chauffeur-driven DJ (Kaitlin Olson) and her fiance to a drive-thru wedding chapel dressed in gray. Chevy Bolt EV. At one point, Ava accidentally puts her foot on the gas in the parking lot and a loud engine roar briefly interrupts procedures. But in reality, stepping on a Bolt’s accelerator wouldn’t do any of that, as there’s no gasoline engine under the hood and its silent electric motor wouldn’t be able to produce such a stop, especially when parked.

    hacks hbo max

    HBO Max

    A similar problem arises again in episode eight, when the character Marcus, played by Carl Clemons-Hopkins, goes to the valet to get his Audi e-tron. Again, we hear the distinct soundtrack of a gasoline engine as the electric SUV approaches. Many EVs, including the e-tron, play a distinctive sound at lower speeds to alert pedestrians to their presence, but it sounds more like a spacecraft than an internal combustion engine.

    And while we’re at it, we can also point to another scene in episode eight involving a gasoline car – a Infiniti QX50. When Deborah Vance, played by Jean Smart, starts driving recklessly in a parking lot, we hear a roar that sounds distinctly like a V-8, when in fact the Infiniti is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that doesn’t even come close to bubbling.

    While there’s a lot to appreciate in this dark comedy about a well-established Las Vegas-based comedian (Smart) who reluctantly hires a young writer (Einbender) to help, these kinds of mistakes pull car enthusiasts like us out of the fantasy. Maybe we can help serve as auto consultants in Season 2? In the meantime, you can see all ten episodes from the first season of Hacks streaming on HBO Max.

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Paula Fonseca