As any dog-lover will tell you, any potential new-car purchase has to pass the doggie test: is there enough room in the back for your pampered pooch and will your dog (or dogs) be safe and comfortable when travelling with you?
Usually, that includes making sure there’s physical space for your dogs where they or other occupants won’t be injured in the event of an accident. But as one Doggy Day Care centre in Scotland has discovered, the fuel type of the vehicle can make a difference too.
Enter the Midlothian Dog Day Care Centre in Gorebridge, Edinburgh, which has just replaced its old gas-guzzling van with an all-electric Nissan e-NV200 in order to cut costs on its daily 40-mile round-trip picking up client’s dogs to take them to their daily home from home.
“When we put the dogs in our old van to pick them up or take them home, they’d just go mad and would bark and bark the whole way,” said Gillian Black, manager of the Dog Day Care Centre in Gorebridge. “But they just chill out completely in the e-NV200. Most of the time they get in, lie down and go straight to sleep.”
Based on our own experiences, we’ve got to agree that plug-in cars seem far more pleasant for dogs to travel in than an internal combustion-engined vehicle. In fact, of the three dogs attached to various members of the Transport Evolved editorial staff, every single one is happier in a plug-in car than a gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle. One of my own dogs, a Border Collie called Pepper, even has a habit of being physically sick if he’s travelling inside a large manual-transmission diesel van.
The reasons for calmer dogs in electric vehicles? Without a noisy, smelly engine and no gear changes, the physical experience of riding in an electric vehicle is far lower stress than it is in an internal combustion engine car. Just as humans appreciate a smooth ride, so too do our pets.
“It’s clearly very calming and relaxing for them,” said Black.
Having driven our own pooches in the minivan variant of the Nissan e-NV200 last week, we agree. With remote telematics and climate control, not to mention DC quick charging capability, the e-NV200 Combi Tekna, we had calm dogs and calm humans wherever we went. Add to that a super-low floor — perfect for older, arthritic dogs — and you could almost say that the e-NV200 is the dogs’ doodads.
Do you agree? Do you have a dog and a plug-in car? Does your dog relax more in it than in other vehicles?
Or perhaps you transport other animals in your plug in? Don’t forget to leave your tails (sorry) in the comments below, along with some photographs of your plug-in pooches.
And while we’ve not quite finished our video review of the e-NV200 yet, do check out our list of five top plug-ins for dog owners in the meantime.
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