When it comes to electric cars, men and women take different approaches towards the same goal of zero emissions driving, says a new report. While women are most interested in saving money and not getting stuck, men approach electric cars in a more scientific and some might even say, daring way.
A study conducted by the University of California Davis in 2011 and 2012 followed the driving habits of many early EV adopters in the Golden State, and the study seemed to cement some long-standing stereotypes when it comes to how the genders drive. Women quickly grew to distrust the estimated range calculator on cars like the Leaf, and thus only used the EVs when they had two or three times the estimated range needed to run their errands. I guess “range anxiety” is a real thing.
Men, meanwhile, approached the range estimator as a challenge, with many attempting to push the limits of the battery’s range…and likely finding themselves stranded more often than their female counterparts. Why? Because men approached electric cars as a chance to test out a new technology, and to see what their new EV was actually capable of, looking forward to new models and faster charging options.
It seems the womenfolk were far more practical about the current state of electric vehicles, adapting their driving style to the limits of the EV and appreciating the ability to “refill” at home. For around-town needs, EVs met most womens needs, and studies suggest that just 30 miles of electric driving is enough for about 95% of daily trips.
Unfortunately, at least in California, women make up just 29% of Nissan Leaf owners, 24% of Chevy Volt owners, and just 16% of Tesla Model S owners. Yet when it comes to buying conventional cars, women are an increasingly potent force in the market, and could be instrumental in pushing the mass adoption of electric vehicles.
In other words, automakers have a lot of work to do when it comes to convincing the fairer sex to adopt electric vehicles…and a good place to start would be a more accurate range estimator.