Why Women Take Longer To Adopt EVs

Less than a third of new EV consumers in the US and China are typically women. Women’s acceptance of EVs is a challenge for automakers worldwide. It is difficult to comprehend because statistics indicate that women place greater importance on environmental issues and climate change than males do.

What prevents women from associating with the culture of electric vehicles, and what can automakers do to include women in the EV family?

For the past ten years, an acknowledged EV gender gap has been present. It was made obvious that the target audience was white men between the ages of 25 and 50 when I first began writing about EVs for another newspaper in the middle of the 2010s. Period. Writing for female EV enthusiasts was merely a small niche market.

Imagine the year 2022. According to A Morning Consult survey , there is a gender discrepancy in EV interest, with males indicating interest at 53% compared to women at 47%. Women are not even mentioned as audience members in the IEA Global EV Outlook .

In recent years, there has been a change in the EV audience. The main target market for EVs is now generally accepted to be younger, more ethnically diverse, and progressive individuals who also tend to be more worried about climate change. One of the numerous obstacles to encouraging women to adopt EVs is the fact that many consumers don’t completely comprehend some of the fundamental benefits of EVs, according to IEA research.

THE EV S ANDAMP; WOMEN’S CULTURE Family members encouraged women who visit a car showroom not to give in to pressure. Friends were warned to be wary of tricks. Coworkers warned that a woman wouldn’t be taken seriously.

Many of you aren’t familiar with GM’s Saturn brand of cars or the automaker’s desire to redesign the car-buying process to be more welcoming to women. Saturn purposefully reimagined the shopping experience for women after realizing that auto dealers operate in a predominately male business, from their service departments to their showrooms. Because no-haggle pricing at Saturn made negotiations easier, it was well-liked by women. Internet users had access to computerized inventories. Women were trained to be salespeople. I am aware of how stress-free the Saturn purchasing experience was because I owned a few and adored them.

Women who buy cars lost out when Saturn went out of business.

In order to produce goods, services, and activities that appeal to women and other underrepresented groups, the GM Center of Expertise on Diversity, a marketing and sales department, was established in 2001. According to GM’s research, women were drawn to features like safety, aesthetic appeal, simple access and exit, heated leather seats, remote starting, adjustable pedals and steering wheels, child-friendly seating arrangements, and special storage options. Dealerships received training on diversity and how underrepresented groups’ expectations may differ from those of the typical white male consumer.

Did this education prepare GM and other manufacturers to produce and market EVs?

In California, the biggest US EV market, 76% of consumers still identify as men. We haven’t really noticed a change in the gender distribution, claims Scott Hardman , a UC Davis researcher who examines consumer views on EVs.

THOUGHTS ON WHY WOMEN DON’T ACCESS EVS Due to their simplicity of use, the first electric vehicles (EVs) at the start of the 20th century were linked to conservatism and femininity. Men made fun of EVs’ lack of power, but women drivers appreciated its cleanliness and simplicity.

Today, factors including being a male parent, having a college degree, being in an urban region, and having prior EV experience all contribute to the adoption of EVs.

Importantly, it has been demonstrated that factors like general well-being, wealth, household size, or ownership of several vehicles frequently influence the switch from internal combustion engine (ICE) to electric vehicle (EV). Women in the US continue to earn, on average, less than men, claims Pew Research . In 2019, women’s median annual earnings among full-time, year-round employees were 82% that of men’s. Less money means fewer options for women to buy what there were previously, at least high end EVs.

According to Jessica Caldwell, Executive Director of Insights at automotive industry data business Edmunds, women tend to be slightly more pragmatist in their purchasing decisions.

EVs are frequently referred to as mobile computers. According to Caldwell, most women are not as concerned with maintaining the status of owning the newest and coolest technology. According to 2021 study , educating customers about the benefits of EV technology may increase their awareness of and propensity to use EVs.

Further, it is important to acknowledge the influence of women in choosing an electric vehicle (EV) as the family automobile. It’s likely that households may continue to employ the EV gender gap 0, whereby EVs are registered in the names of male family members, or that a man will purchase an EV even though a woman will use it equally.

According to Marc Bland, chief diversity officer at research firm Sandamp;P Global Mobility, automakers are learning that women play a crucial role in not just purchasing automobiles but also in influencing other people, such as men, to do the same. I believe that the EV business should pay more attention to and provide services for the women who adopt the technology slightly earlier than the more cautious men.

EV gender gap 1, a specialist in automobile marketing, points out a further obstacle to encouraging women to use EVs. There are currently few EV alternatives with three rows of seats for women who have families, and these women are searching for something that can accommodate their families.

EV gender gap 2 can help women who are unsure about how well EVs operate in terms of things like range and home charging develop their confidence. Modeling and one-on-one instruction can make driving an electric vehicle more relatable to women and feel much more approachable.

Women who are unable to charge at home continue to place a high priority on charging safety. Women perceive underground or poorly illuminated charging stations as dangerous environments.

Then there is the toxic nature of online EV groups, which are typically controlled by men and can be intimidating to women. (Note: Although CleanTechnica moderates well and has many helpful comments following our articles, I admit that I frequently hesitate to participate in the post-publication talks because there is occasionally venom in these usually male forums.)

What automakers are doing to alter the culture of the automobile Recently, an exhibition at EV gender gap 4 discussed how automakers are attempting to widen the perception of EVs and entice more women to purchase electric. According to EV gender gap 5, adaptable and customizable vehicle interiors make EV travel safer and more comfortable. Women, in particular, like this aspect highly.

US automakers claim that by consistently showcasing women in their marketing, they hope to convince more people to switch to electric vehicles. A woman currently appears in a number of online and offline EV advertisements. Recent Ford, Audi, and Cadillac EV advertisements, among others, feature women driving or describing the EV experience, similar to the Chevy Bolt video below.

Early Ford F-150 Lightning advertising featured a woman looking through a power app on her phone to demonstrate the advantages of bi-directional charging.
Janelle Mone, a celebrated performer and actress, examined the numerous luxury viewpoints that surround the Audi RS e-tron GT.
Regina King, a director and actress, is shown driving an electric Cadillac Lyric and controlling both her life and her vehicle.
As a woman who enjoys driving an EV, I hope that more automakers give women’s needs and interests serious consideration.

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