Evidence from the early market for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) indicates fewer were being purchased (or leased) by women than would be expected based on women’s participation in all new vehicle transactions. The ratio of male-to-female applicants for California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate (CVR) averaged approximately three males for every female from early 2011 to mid-2015; the ratio for all new vehicle transactions is approximately one-to-one. Research on early PEV owners indicated that for their many similarities, females and males talked about their PEVs in ways that suggest female PEV drivers’ experiences may carry less influence to shape the future of PEVs and charging infrastructure than males’. First, there were simply fewer female PEV owners to provide feedback. Second, females were more likely than males to talk about how they adapted to the present capabilities of PEVs while male respondents were more likely to talk about PEVs in terms of testing their limits. For example, female PEV drivers were more likely to talk about how they used the available charging infrastructure; male respondents were more likely to point to where and how to extend infrastructure. This study extends the analysis from early PEV buyers to the population of new-car buyers (of whom the vast majority own gasoline powered internal combustion engine and hybrid electric vehicles (ICEVs and HEVs)) in California. The results presented here are based on data from an on-line survey of new-car buyers in California conducted at the end of 2014 and subsequent inhome interviews with a subset of survey respondents in early 2015. The overall conclusion is that among new-car buyers, female and male respondents share similar distributions of interest in the next new vehicle for their household being a PEV or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). For no electric-drive vehicle type did the male-to-female ratio approach that seen in the actual early market for PEVs. Under conditions that most closely correspond to the availability of incentives at the time of the survey, 22% of males and 21% of females express an interest in a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) (a ratio of 1.05 males for every female) and 12% of males and 10% of females express an interest in a battery electric vehicle (BEV) (ratio of 1.20). The difference is greater for FCEVs for which the ratio is 1.76 males for every female.
Discontinuance Among California’s Electric Vehicle Buyers: Why are Some Consumers Abandoning Electric Vehicles?
For the market introduction of electric vehicles to be successful, first-time adopters need to make continual purchases of the vehicles. Discontinuance, the act of abandoning a new technology after once being an adopter, has implications for market growth and could prevent electric vehicles from ever reaching 100% market share. Using results from five surveys of electric vehicle owners, the researchers examine discontinuance among battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle adopters. In this sample, discontinuance occurs at a rate of 21% for plug-in hybrid adopters and 19% for battery electric vehicle adopters. They show that discontinuance is related to dissatisfaction with convenience of charging, owning household vehicles with lower efficiencies, being a later adopter of PEVs, not having Level 2 (220V) charging from home, and not being male. Despite consumers overcoming initial barriers of PEVs, it appears some barriers, notably their refueling style, resurface during ownership and eventually become a barrier to continuing with PEV ownership.
Related Research Centers & Groups
- 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program
- China Center for Energy and Transportation
- Energy Futures Research Center
- Hydrogen Pathways Program
- National Center for Sustainable Transportation
- Sustainable Freight Research Center
- Sustainable Transportation Center
- Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)
- University of California Pavement Research Center
- Urban Land Use and Transportation Center
- Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy
- UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies