Although America is investing additional funds in infrastructure and subsidies for electric vehicles, the gender disparity in ownership may be caused by concerns about affordability and security. The unreliable charging stations and security concerns are pointers explaining the fact that fewer women are electric car drivers. However, there are other things causing the gender disparity. Earlier studies and more current polls point to a variety of reasons, including socio-economic level, experiences at vehicle dealerships and a lack of knowledge about how to operate electric cars.
While the United States develops a strategy of putting more funds into charging stations throughout all 50 states, understanding the reasons as to why women are not switching to EVs at the same rate as men is crucial. In the first six months of 2021, the vehicles bought by women accounted for not more than 30%. However, a different survey in 2022 indicated that only 47% said they would be interested in buying one within five years’ time, compared to 53% of men. The majority of EV drivers today are men, contrary to popular belief that environmentally conscious buyers are often female.
Consumer Reports’ poll in January, which included more than 8,000 participants, provides some explanation for the existence of this gender disparity. Males were more likely than women to have driven an electric vehicle and to be familiar with how it charges. Compared to men, women had more safety concerns when using a charging station in a public area. Charging points are frequently located farther away from traffic, usually at the back-end of parking areas without personnel in charge at the station such as at gas stations. Unlike a gas car, which takes only five minutes to fill up, an EV takes no less than 30 minutes to fully charge.
Race is another element. While both White male and female consumers have comparable levels of interest in EVs, Latino as well as Black consumers who responded to the study are switching to the vehicles at a slower rate.
Most of the people who purchase EVs own their homes, where they can have chargers installed and leave their vehicles charging overnight, avoiding the need for charging at public charging stations. However, for women and people of color (POC), charging their automobiles can be a chore in and of itself because they must rely on public charging points for their daily charging needs as most of them typically don’t own homes and dwell in multifamily buildings where charging facilities are frequently absent from parking frameworks.
According to experts, the location of this upcoming generation of charging stations should be constructed with more care for the safety of women.
The writing is on the wall. If automakers such as Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) want to get an edge in the market, special effort has to be invested in winning over the largely untapped female base in most countries.
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