1. It all starts before getting in the car!
If it’s hot or really cold outside we like to start the car’s AC or heater remotely. Yes, even the inexpensive French car comes with a remote operated HVAC at no extra cost!
As the HVAC system runs all electric, there’s no need for a motor running in order to adjust the cabin’s temperature.
So, before putting on our shoes and the dog’s collars and stuff, we press the button on the remote and the car will start to heat or cool while still sitting in front of the house or in the garage. Again, there’s no combustion envolved, so you can have the heater running in the garage without the danger of harming anyone.
If you don’t have a garage and live in a cold area, you will never ever have to scrape ice of your windshield!
Patch’s last nap in our old car before we went all eletric →
2. Tesla’s Dog Mode
Those days are over when you had to feel bad if you left your dog in the car.
Cars parked outside do heat up so much quicker than we sometimes expect. This is why we never left our dogs in the car unattended.
This changed since we have a Tesla. Elon Musk’s team made sure that you can leave the heater / AC running at your desired temperature. This can go on for hours even if your battery is only a quarter full to begin with. In order to show the fact that your four legged friends are resting comfortably, this is shown on the screen in big letters for everybody to see. You wouldn’t want anyone unnecessarily rescue your dogs by smashing the windows.
The screen informs “bystanders” →
3. The Frunk offers more flexibility for your luggage
If your car doesn’t need a big and loud engine under the hood, you have space for many other things.
FRUNK comes from “Front Trunk”.
In our case we put most of our luggage in the frunk and this gives a lot of space for our dogs in the back. You also are not running the risk of a dog jumping out if you open the trunk just in order to get something. We usually pop the frunk first, get ourselves ready, pick up the leashes and stuff and only then open the back, where the dogs are.
Having luggage in the frunk still is a big conversation starter with traditional motorists. They often are astonishe to see how much space has been wasted for decades.
Some Frunks offer a lot of room →
4. If your Frunk is not enough, there might be more space in the back
As there’s no need for a gasoline tank in the back and the electric motor is quite small, this also offers more room under the trunk floor.
At least in our Tesla, the space under the trunk is really spacious. This is the room we use for things we don’t need often while travelling. For expample the dog food for the vacation usually goes there and the extension cord for charging the car at the destination, in case there’s no convenient charger close by. As cars are parked idle most of the day, even a slow charge is not problem for us.
Tesla is offering very quick “Superchargers” along most major highways which makes it convenient to travel the electric way. Some Tesla models even charge for free for lifetime. This makes such a car even more affordable if you do the math.
The space underneath the trunk →
5. Enough space for “seperate rooms” for the dogs – Part I
Most of our luggage is in the FRUNK and the rest is underneath the trunk. So this offers the chance for Patch to get his own room.
Our 2 Greyhounds get a long pretty well. But if Patch is sleeping, he very often runs and starts kicking Penny without realizing it. This is the reason why we prefer them both to have their own and designated space, even in the car.
So Patch has the trunk to himself and has a lot of space to sleep and turn and “roach” if he feels like it. We tinted the window, so he doesn’t get hot back there.
We are convinced that both are happy about their separées, too.
Patch is stretching his feet while the car is charging →
6. Enough space for seperate rooms for the dogs – Part II
Patch really seems to enjoy sleeping in the trunk, far away from most noises and us humans.
Penny on the other side seems to be more relaxed if she can see “that we are still there” and that she has not been abandoned.
She also enjoys looking out of the window and daydreaming while doing that.
This is the reason why we usually have her “in the front”, meaning on the back seats, close to us humans.
She has a comfy bed which is sitting inside a “car hammock” that keeps her safe and comfortable.
This is how both our dogs seem to enjoy long car rides with us →
7. Charging = Time for Walkies!
Currently electric cars don’t get as far on a single charge as a combustion engine car does. This is rapidly shifting as batteries are getting better, cheaper and more efficient by the day. Until then you will have to make a few more stops on your travels.
But this doesn’t mean that this is a bad thing!
For the driver this means that you get more time to relax and to move your body and get the blood flowing, go to eat or have a drink. This can only increase your concentration and reduce the risk of an accident.
For dogs this is definately an all good thing because each stop to charge the car means they will get attention, or a snack or a chance to go for a walk.
Patch and Penny just came back from a walk while the car is charging →
This is how we travel in an electric car with 2 large Greyhounds
For us the conclusion is simple:
We went all electric and can’t image to go back to a loud and stinky combustion engine car!
There are too many advantages, big or small that absolutely outweigh for us the fact that you have to make more stops in order to charge the car.
Here are some:
- Pre-heating or -cooling the car before getting in
- Dog mode – which makes it possible for us to leave the dogs in the car, no matter how hot or cold outside. A half full battery will theoretically be enough for 2 days of non stop heating / cooling.
- More space because there’s no engine under the hood
- A quiet car that doesn’t stink. If you walk your dog in the morning when people cold start their engine, you will have the pleasure of experiencing the full exhaust treatment. Especially in the cold months this is almost palpable.
- Electric cars are cheap in the long run because they need almost zero maintenance.
- Electric cars don’t use the breaks much, but regain electricity by using the electric engine as a break / generator. This saves maintenance, too!
- They are efficient because their engines don’t waste over 80% of the fuel’s energy in friction and heat.
- Never having to stop at a gas station and not spending a lot of money for something that will be burnt in a noisy and stinky combustion is just satisfying. You just charge the car while is sitting idle in the garage anyhow.
Just in case you think that Electric Cars are for rich people only:
First of all, you don’t need to spend a lot of money if you want an electric car. One of our 2 electric cars is a small Renault Zoé which we bought used and only cost around 10.000€ (12.000$). This was in 2018 and since then prices fell even more which means that you should be able to find a decent used electric car for around 5.000 Euros or Dollars. This should make it affordable for most people.
Of course, it makes more sense if you have a chance to charge your EV at home. But many people live a happy life while not being able to charge at home.
This car is ideal for around the city and if you need an electric car for long distances, you might have to invest a little more money.
I will not go dive into the topic of “electric cars are killing the planet and everyone living on it”. Most of the negative press around electric cars is financed or motivated by companies that will lose a lot of money if everybody stops buying cars that burn fossil fuels. And no, electric cars don’t explode all the time! When was the last time your battery-operated cell phone did and would you rather have a gas-powered phone in your pocket? 😉
So much about electric cars in general!
Charging the car is a good reason to take your dog for a walk! →
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