Drivers of electric cars and hybrids feel less stressed behind the wheel than drivers of gasoline or diesel vehicles, according to a new survey conducted by Stellantis' DS Automobiles division.
DS doesn't sell cars in the United States, and the results are based on responses from 2,000 drivers in the United Kingdom, but the survey seems just as relevant for the U.S.
DS 4 E-Tense
Of the drivers surveyed, 78% said they had experienced stress by while driving. Yet 38% of hybrid and EV owners said their current car makes them feel less stress than non-electrified cars they previously owned.
Among features respondents said were most effective at reducing stress a "quiet and refined drive" was cited by 41%. That wasn't the top choice; 52% of respondents cited a comfortable interior and seats as the most effective feature for reducing stress. But it is something unique to electrified vehicles—regardless of which side of the Atlantic you're on.
The lack of engine noise from electric cars (and hybrids, when they're in electric mode) makes a major difference compared to internal-combustion vehicles.
DS 4 E-Tense
EVs do have to make some noise at low speeds, to satisfy so-called "quiet car" rules. But as we've said for years, the calmness and vibration-free nature of EVs make them simply more pleasant and less stressful to drive.
A number of new EVs, from the Porsche Taycan to the Ford Mach-E and Lightning, make fake engine noise for the cabin. Luckily you can turn that off. And Tesla vehicles haven't made those.
Range anxiety used to be widely cited as a source of stress while driving an EV, but as we've said repeatedly, it's overblown and simply owning one and getting used to the daily ritual of charging will make it a nonissue to most.