Publication Detail

Across Early Policy and Market Contexts Women and Men Show Similar Interest in Electric Vehicles


Research Report

National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Suggested Citation:
Kurani, Kenneth S. and Koral Buch (2021) Across Early Policy and Market Contexts Women and Men Show Similar Interest in Electric Vehicles. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-21-09

While ownership and purchase of all vehicles approach gender parity, to date electric vehicles (EV) are being purchased by far more men than women. Prior analysis from California finds no reason in the available data why this difference persists. This report extends that analysis across 12 other U.S.states with varying, but generally less supportive than California,EV policy and market contexts. Data are from a survey conducted of new-car buying households at the end of 2014, whichallowed participants to express their prospective interest in acquiring an EV. Participants then indicated why they were motivated to select an EV or what motivated them to not select one. Via multivariate modeling, differences in prospective interest in EVs between female and male respondents are examined, and overall, no difference rises to the level of the observed differences in real EV markets. Further, the multivariate modeling indicates no statistically significant effect of a sex indicator on prospective interest almost anywhere in these data; where there is a difference, female participants are estimated to be more likely to selectan EV than their male counterparts. While participants from both sexes tend to give high scores to the same EV (de)motivations, differences in their rank orders repeat generalizations from other research. On average, female respondents score environmental motivations for selecting an EV higher than do male respondents. On average, male participants score interest in “new technology”as a motivation for selecting an EV higherthando female participants. Conversely, on average female respondents who do not select an EV score “unfamiliar technology” more highly than their male counterparts. Within the variation in EV policy and market contexts represented in this study, no finding here explains why similar prospective interest in EVs from five years ago has yet to be turned toward equal participationin EV markets. Explanations may lie in factors not modeled here.

Key words: Electric vehicle, zero emission vehicle, gender, sex, policy, market