Pianist Lang Lang talks about his first drive in the Volkswagen e-up!1, and the special experience of silent travel.

Oh, we’re
in a car
almost total
silence –
it’s a unique experience.
I travel a lot by car.
If I’m traveling
within Europe,
I often choose not to fly
because it’s so much 
trouble. This means that,
after my apartment,
my car is the place
where I spend the most time.
I usually listen to music in the car –
lots of classical pieces
of course, but also jazz or even pop music.
I always play music really loud – that’s partly
to drown out the sound of the engine. It’s different in an electric car.
There’s no engine noise, only a pleasant whoosh,
like a puff of wind. It reminds me more of riding in a modern
elevator than a conventional car.
It’s a wonderful feeling to be traveling so silently and to be so “green”, too.
This technology is fascinating – I’m sure it will catch on. Think about music industry: only ten years ago, I would never have dreamed of downloading music from the Internet. And now I find it
the best and most convenient way
of discovering new music.
Electromobility will develop in the same way:
in a few years’ time we will see
a lot more silent cars like this one on the streets.
Their range will be
much greater
and we won’t
have to go
for charging stations.
makes the
world a quieter place.
That’s a nice
thought, because
silence is important to me as a musician.
Without silence, there would be no music.
Every piece of music
begins in silence, and ends in silence.
I love to immerse myself
in that moment of absolute calm
before the beginning of a piece.
It’s the only way I can concentrate. I like to call it
my “pause mode”. As much as I love music in nearly all its forms,
if there were no silence,
it would not be so precious. When I play a concert, I find intrusive noises very difficult to cope with and yet off stage, there’s the sound of
machinery and mechanical noises that I really
appreciate. Noise always means life, energy, movement.
The car is accelerating at the moment. It’s so quiet and effortless.
I hear the sound of the wheels on the road getting stronger,
and I feel the torque kicking in, the car speeding up.
It’s an exciting feeling! Like a crescendo.
The music gets louder, but not in
a sudden, alarming way; it builds
slowly and organically.
The e-up! sounds gentle –
and with its sound
the landscape appears
more gentle, the green
of the forests,
the sunlight.
I’d like to
keep on

Lang Lang, pianist

1 Volkswagen e-up! 60 kW energy consumption in kWh/100 km combined 11.7; CO2 emissions in g/km combined 0.

André Boße

Matthias Haslauer