Babies and electric cars…


No this is not a post about what happens if they dismantle the traction battery… This is just a short note to say that it is quite a bit more difficult to get a baby to sleep in an electric car. At least if you have my 2011 Nissan Leaf and with my son Nicolas.

As most parents know babies usually sleep well in cars, I put this down to a number of factors; there are a lot of interesting things to distract them out of the window, the car bumps and rolls as it drives along generating movement including vibration which the engine contributes to, and then there is noise, both road noise and engine noise. Here the electric car proves to be slightly less-than-ideal. There is no engine noise or vibration and given that most electric cars are fairly new, and as far as the Leaf is concerned, they have well designed and relatively unworn suspension, the ride is very smooth.

The upshot of this is that compared to my other car a 2.8 diesel 4×4 (which rarely gets used now I have the Leaf), the baby wakes up after about 45 minutes. In the car’s defence he is not a great sleeper, but there is a marked difference. We have taken to playing a track on the stereo simulating a more noisy car journey or just playing white noise to calm him, but we cannot simulate the vibration of the engine. I also aim for the pot holes and bits of rough road repair to create more bumps.

Am I saying don’t buy an electric car if you have baby? Certainly not! The benefits to your wallet and your health (and everyone else’s) are clear. Just have some handy noises to play to make the environment in the car a little less comfortable.


One thought on “Babies and electric cars…

  1. aarond12

    I have to say your experience isn’t the same as mine. In my wife’s Jeep Compass (2.4l gas), the baby (just shy of 2 years old) sleeps fairly quickly. In my Nissan LEAF, the baby not only sleeps faster and stays asleep, many times she doesn’t want to leave the car!

    We use our LEAF for around-town jaunts to stores and such, so the baby not wanting to leave the car isn’t so much of an issue; we just leave her there as we unload. She’s usually ready to go once we are done unloading the car.


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