Here's How EVs Are Causing Motion Sickness and How to Overcome It

Here's How EVs Are Causing Motion Sickness and How to Overcome It
Passengers prone to motion sickness should avoid looking at the screen inside a moving EV. Photo: freepik

Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity due to their sleek looks and eco-friendly nature. Although Americans are replacing their gasoline cars with EVs, they are beginning to encounter the drawbacks of driving them. Reports have shown that many passengers, including children, are experiencing car sickness while riding one.

Read More: How You Can Extend the Life of Your EV Battery

The question is, why are electric cars more likely to cause motion sickness compared to ICE (internal combustion engine) cars?

Here are some reasons why EVs are causing car sickness:

Regenerative Braking

While regenerative braking improves efficiency in EVs, it also creates a disorienting feeling for people who are used to riding a gasoline car. John Voelker, former editor of Green Car Report and a contributing editor to Car and Driver, points out that EV car sickness is a form of motion sickness caused by regenerative braking, as it recaptures maximum energy. He also notes that this discomfort is mainly caused by drivers not understanding how to modulate the powerful regen braking of EVs.


Quick Acceleration

Unlike ICE, which gradually builds up power, EVs deliver immediate and consistent power, giving a quick acceleration. The abruptness of speed without the usual engine noise and vibration can confuse the sense of motion in some people, causing dizziness and motion sickness.

Jumpy Throttle

EV makers tuned the throttles to be jumpy to emphasize the power, but this can cause car sickness in people sensitive to instant speed surges. Ed Kim, president and chief analyst of AutoPacific, said that the abrupt seesaw motion caused by the jumpy throttles of EVs can cause motion sickness, especially for those sitting in the passenger seat.

One-Pedal Mode

Using one-pedal mode in EVs can cause more jolts than in ICEs. In one-pedal mode, the EV driver's foot doesn't remain still, regularly switching between powering the motors and regenerating, which can trigger car sickness.

Lack of Sound

The serene quietness of EVs can trigger car sickness in passengers who are already sensitive to motion sickness. Doctors have pointed out that a lack of sound in EVs can cause disturbances in the sensory system that help orient our bodies to motion. In traditional ICE, people can understand the motion by hearing the engine revving or changing gears. However, silence in EVs confuses passengers' motion, causing severe nausea.

Here's How You Can Overcome Car Sickness Caused by EVs

Most of the time, a driver's lack of experience can cause car sickness in EVs. Also, uncertain moments like heavy traffic or turning a corner fast can cause a seasoned driver to experience motion sickness. Fear not! There are several ways you can dodge the motion sickness problem in EVs.

Gradual Acceleration and Deceleration.

Drivers can lessen motion sickness by gradually accelerating and decelerating. Smooth driving habits help passengers adjust to changes in speed and reduce the chance of motion sickness.

Adjust Regenerative Braking.

Many EVs allow drivers to adjust the abruption and intensity of regenerative braking. Lowering the setting can make deceleration feel more natural and less abrupt, helping to reduce discomfort.

Focus on the Road.

Passengers prone to motion sickness should focus on the road ahead and avoid looking at the screen inside the car. Looking at a moving road can help align with visual orientation and balance cues, reducing car sickness.

Take Breaks on Longer Journeys.

Taking regular breaks on longer trips can help passengers readjust and reduce the buildup of motion sickness symptoms. A short walk and fresh air can help.

Read More: Top Five Maintenance Tips for Electric Car Owners

Although electric cars are reported to cause car sickness, there is always room for improvement. Some automobile companies are launching new EV models with fake gearing and artificial engine noises to ameliorate motion sickness.

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Autos Magazine: Here's How EVs Are Causing Motion Sickness and How to Overcome It
Here's How EVs Are Causing Motion Sickness and How to Overcome It
Many passengers, including children, suffer from car sickness while riding in EVs. Here are the causes of motion sickness while driving electric cars.
Autos Magazine
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