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December 1, 2022

Apparently, EVs Are Great For Dogs Too

If there’s yet another reason you should consider going EV, it’s this: they’re better for your dogs.

In a first-of-its-kind study, UK-based University of Lincoln and online automotive marketplace, CarGurus have revealed that dogs are more relaxed in electric vehicles than in diesel-powered cars.

The study, which has been submitted for publication in an international scientific journal, was commissioned to investigate the effects of travelling in EVs versus diesel cars on dog behavior and welfare.

The study was carried out over two days using 20 dogs. Each dog was taken on two 10-minute journeys, one in an EV followed by the same route in a diesel, before a range of scientific measures were used to analyze the dog’s behavior.

Led by Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioral Medicine at University of Lincoln, the study not only found that dogs were less settled in diesel cars compared with EVs, but those dogs appearing to show some signs of car sickness had notably reduced symptoms in an EV.

The study concluded there was no evidence to suggest EVs have a detrimental effect on dog welfare. This resolves anecdotal concerns that the differences in vibration and/or noise experienced in an EV may cause dogs to be unsettled or have increased car sickness.

In fact, findings showed the transition from internal combustion engine (ICE) to EVs for dogs was a smooth one.

While the dogs in the study lay for around a third of the journey’s duration regardless of powertrain, in diesel cars dogs broke their laying position on average 50 percent more than when in an EV. Prof Mills states this is likely the result of differences in noise and/or vibration in the two types of cars.

Another notable finding from the study was that a small number of dogs appeared to feel markedly less nauseous in an EV compared to a diesel car. This was demonstrated by changes in behavior and the fact that their heart rates reduced by up to 30 percent when travelling in an EV.

The study also uncovered that many dogs seemed to enjoy the motion of cars. With a higher heart rate linked to motion sickness, data revealed that heart rates in two-thirds (66 percent) of the dogs went down as a result of travel in both diesel cars and EVs.

Meanwhile, CarGurus carried out further research with dog owners regarding their pets’ behaviors when travelling.

Overall, owners said their pets most commonly suffered from over excitement (58 percent), anxiety (48 percent), and nausea (44 percent) when travelling in the car. However, the participants that have driven their dogs in both an ICE and EV vehicle said they settled better (39 percent), were calmer (43 percent), less anxious (42 percent), and whined less (45 percent) in an EV compared to an ICE.

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