My electrical panel is in a cabinet attached to my garage but accessible from the outside so the utility has access. I'm installing a 14-50R receptacle using 6/3 THHN in my garage and it will be directly adjacent to my service panel but on the other side of the cabinet wall so it's in the garage for EV charging. We're talking less than 10' run, probably closer to 4 or 5 feet. I believe code states that conduit isn't required since the cable is protected by the wall of the utility cabinet but considering the cabinet has a dirt floor and is accessible outside I suppose rodents could be an issue? Do I need to worry about rodents chewing wire here? I've never seen evidence of them there, nor could I imagine why they'd want to be in that cabinet, but maybe it's better to be safe than sorry? Or is the additional heat that the conduit would create more of an issue?
If you have evidence of rodent damage to other wires in that location then maybe it's worth doing something more. But otherwise if using conduit is the more difficult method, I don't think I'd bother. If your garage is open framing and you can run from point A to point B in an approved NM fashion, that's the way to go. Nail a plastic 2 gang box to a 2 by and run the #6-3 NM. BTW I think #8-3 NM would've been OK for that circuit.