We all love our pets, and a lot of us love cars, too, especially the electric ones! But what are the best EVs for pets? We’ve got the top 5!
As we said, people love their pets. That’s why having the ability to easily and comfortably bring your pets along with you in your new EV is super important, whether that’s a short trip across town or a longer trip across the country. It’s a big deal. That’s understandable – what’s less understandable is when someone tries to justify their massive, gas-guzzling SUV purchase with the words, “I have dogs.”
It’s maddening, but it’s something we’ve heard over and over. As a response, we’ve put together a list of the best hybrid and electric cars for pets money can buy. Enjoy!
Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 PHEV | 35 mi. EV Range + 55 MPGe
As a puppy parent, there are two critical things you want for your dog. You want them to feel comfortable and you want them to feel secure. When your dog is comfortable, they’re relaxed, and when they’re relaxed, they’re less likely to freak out – or, worse – have the tummy troubles in your shiny new EV. Well, you’d be hard pressed to find a vehicle that’s more comfortable or more secure than the 2023 Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge PHEV.
The big Swedish PHEV delivers an unparalleled safety and security record, plenty of room for you and your pets, a raft of available pet accessories, and more than enough pure electric driving range to make around-town trips zero-emission affairs. What’s more, the XC90 will give back more than 55 MPGe when you do need the ICE engine.
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid | 32 mi. EV Range + 82 MPGe
Chrysler’s Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid minivan has a lot to offer pet owners. In terms of comfort and quiet, the Pacifica offers both in spades, with enough room between its stylish fenders to fit seven people and at least one or two dogs comfortably – but that’s just the scratching the surface of the clever Pacifica‘s many strengths as a dog-hauler.
For starters, the Chrysler Pacifica’s available “Stow n’ Go” seats allows the interior to be configured and reconfigured in dozens of different ways, making room for pets of all sizes.
How so? If you have a bigger dog that needs room to stretch out? Fold down the middle row of seats and they disappear. Want to keep the big dog away from people? Fold down the third row, but keep the middle row up. Have two small dogs you want to keep from running around the cabin? The available puppy kennel (shown) keeps the dogs safely crated while you make your way down the the road in elegant, 82 MPGe style.
And, finally, there’s the easy cleanup thanks to the Pacifica’s built-in vacuum cleaner that helps tidy up once you get back from your drive.
Tesla Model X | 348 mi. EV Range
If you ever read a “best EVs for pets” article in the future that doesn’t include the Tesla Model X, you can pretty much disregard the rest of its suggestions. The all-electric Tesla space egg people-carrier makes for a smooth, luxurious ride – which dogs love! – and raises the bar even further with a game-changing “dog mode” that was introduced in 2019 and, until this year, was completely unique in the industry.
Introducing Dog Mode: set a cabin temperature to keep your dog comfortable while letting passersby know they don't need to worry pic.twitter.com/xFU6MGZT53— Tesla (@Tesla) February 14, 2019
Tesla’s Dog mode is a deceptively simple system that keeps the car’s HVAC systems running at a set temperature that’s comfortable for pets while displaying a message on the main display that’s visible to nosy passers-by.
You know, the same passers-by that have been known to smash out car windows in well-meaning attempts to “rescue” dogs from parked cars? Which – good for them, but maybe not so good for the cars. With a Tesla Model X and dog mode it’s simply not an issue.
Jeep Wrangler 4Xe | 21 mi. EV Range + 49 MPGe
If you need a reason to smile today, head over to the Jeep Wrangler forums and start searching for pictures of dogs in Jeeps. We’ll wait.
Yes, feeling safe and secure is important for both pets and people, but the Jeep Wrangler has always been more about the destination than the journey – at least a little bit, anyway – and, in 2023, you simply won’t be able to take your dogs on the same kind of adventures in anything else.
Rivian R1T | 314 mi. EV Range
Anything Tesla can do, Rivian can do better. At least, that seems to be what’s motivating a new “pet mode” feature for the R1T that mimics, to some degree, Tesla’s offering.
Rivian’s Pet Mode catapults the R1T pickup into the top 5 of “best EVs for pets” list by keeping the interior temperature of the all-electric pickup between 68 and 74 degrees while the large, center display screen shows the brand’s “Gear Guard” cartoon mascot, along with a message to let other people know that the pets inside aren’t in any danger of getting overheated.
The feature will run until the battery is completely depleted – and, with a 135 kWh battery inside each Rivian R1T – that could take a long time!
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