Dogs are more relaxed in electric cars than diesel cars, new research claims.
Online vehicle marketplace CarGurus partnered with the University of Lincoln on the new study, which looked at the effects on dogs of travelling in a diesel car versus an electric vehicle (EV).
The two-day investigation used 20 dogs, each taken on two 10-minute car journeys – one in an EV and one in a diesel. During the trip, their behaviour was analysed.
Led by Daniel Mills, Professor of Veterinary Behavioural 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.
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% more than when in an EV.
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 behaviour and the fact that their heart rates reduced by up to 30% when travelling in an EV.
“Our results clearly show that dogs seem to be more relaxed in EVs, particularly when looking at behavioural traits such as restlessness,” said Professor Mills.
“Additionally, an interesting and somewhat unintended revelation from the study came from the dogs that we identified as having potential symptoms associated with travel sickness.
“During their journeys in the EVs, biometric recordings of these dogs revealed their heart rates slowed markedly more than when they were in diesel cars.
“This was of particular interest to us given an increase in heart rate is commonly associated with motion sickness.
“It’s an intriguing result, which raised additional questions for exploration within this field.”