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Need a pet-friendly car? These are the best electric vehicles you can get

There are a lot of great reasons to get an electric vehicle — while the upfront costs are higher, you can save money in the long run. They’re also better for the environment and offer plenty of daily conveniences. But have you considered your pet?

If you’ve ever tried to wrangle a German shepherd into a cramped two-seater, you’ll know why factoring your pets into the equation is a smart move. You also have to consider that no matter how wonderful an electric vehicle is, there are some situations where they might not be the best for pets.

Let’s take a look at the best electric vehicles to get for your pet in 2022. We’ll share the specs and price points, and we’ll tell you why they’re so good for pets.

A group of six dogs emerging from the back of a white car.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What makes a car pet-friendly?

Whether you’re transporting your cat to the vet or your pup to the dog park, certain car features will make your life much easier — not to mention reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning up after your fur baby. Here are a few features you may want to look for in a new electric car.

Leather (or faux-leather) seats

While it’s possible that your fur baby may scratch or scuff your leather interior, the possibility of set-in stains and lingering smells makes cloth upholstery a risky choice for pet parents. Sure, you can vacuum cloth seats, but it will take much longer than giving your leather seats a quick wipe down. Best of all, if you prefer not to use animal products, car companies like Volvo are going leather-free to accommodate vegans.  

Hatchback models

Even if you opt for leather seats, you’ll be able to keep your car much cleaner if you have a hatchback. You can open up your vehicle from the rear, let your pup climb inside, and keep them from tracking mud and debris all over your seats. Hatchback models are also perfect for trips to the vet, as you’ll be able to slide your pet’s kennel right inside.

Cargo room

Whether you go for a car with spacious backseats or a model with a designated cargo area, you’ll want a roomy interior if you have fur babies. (Look for models with seats that fold flat in addition to cargo room if you need even more space for large pet carriers.)

Ground clearance

For pet parents with small dogs or senior pooches, a car with a lower ground clearance is ideal. Your little pup should be able to make the jump on his own, and the low clearance will make things much easier if you have a large, older dog who needs a helping hand getting into the car. 

A gray Scottish Fold sits in an orange carrier inside a car.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The best electric cars for pets in 2022

Pet parents are notoriously inventive when it comes to making things work for their fur babies. That being said, these electric cars make things a little easier when it comes to traveling with your pets. 

2022 Tesla Model 3

With a starting price of $46,190, the Tesla isn’t the cheapest option on our list. However, its plush leather interior, roomy seating, and low ground clearance make it a great option for pet parents. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 in 5.3 seconds, the Tesla comes equipped with intuitive handling, all-season wheels, and an impressive range of 232 miles before it needs to be recharged. Don’t sleep on the Tesla Model 3 if you live nearby one of their Supercharger stations. 

2022 Nissan Leaf

Starting off at $27,400, the Nissan Leaf has a range of 150 to 226 miles. Folding rear seats, a roomy cargo area, and a hatchback opening make this model a fantastic option for transporting pets. Climbing into the car when the weather takes a turn for the worst is uncomfortable for you and your pet, but the Leaf offers one of the most impressive apps on the market. You can start your car and turn on the heat or air conditioning, all within the app.  

2022 Hyundai Kona

Sporty and affordable, the 2022 Hyundai Kona starts at $22,545. If you’re looking for a vehicle you can feel safe in, the Kona has a five-star rating from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. The Kona has enough space for four adults without feeling crowded, meaning there’s plenty of room for your fur babies. The easy-to-clean leather interior, folding seats, hatchback opening, ample cargo area, and 258-mile range round out this budget-friendly subcompact SUV.

2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Priced at $31,500, the Chevrolet Bolt EV gets an impressive 259 miles on a single charge thanks to its 65-kilowatt-hour 350-volt lithium-ion battery. Speedsters will love its ability to go from 0 to 60 in a mere 6.5 seconds, while pet parents will adore the redesigned cabin with improved cargo space. Capable of seating five adults, the Bolt EV comes with folding seats and 36 inches of backseat legroom. Cloth upholstery comes standard, but you can upgrade to leather for easy cleanup. 

Whether you’re taking your frisky feline to the vet or driving a car full of pups to the park, you want a car with pet-friendly features that will make your life a little easier. Naysayers often claim that electric cars lack many of the features found on gas-guzzling models. But once you get behind the wheel of one of these electric models, we think you’ll beg to differ.     

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Mary Johnson
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Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
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