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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Plug-In Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Research Center

There are 14 publications in this collection, published between 2015 and 2020.
Research Reports (14)

Are We Hardwiring Gender Differences into the Plug-in Electric Vehicle Market?

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.

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Characteristics and Experiences of Ride-Hailing Drivers with Plug-in Electric Vehicles

Electrification of transportation network companies (TNCs; e.g., Uber and Lyft) presents a path for reduced emissions as well as potential benefits to drivers via reduced costs for fueling and vehicle maintenance. This report describes 732 TNC PEV drivers in the United States in terms of their demographic characteristics, motivations for driving PEVs on TNCs, charging patterns, and ideas to improve the experience of driving PEVs on TNCs. Greater understanding of these early adopters can inform strategies to promote further adoption. The economic benefits of fuel and maintenance savings associated with PEVs featured in drivers’ reported motivations for PEV adoption. Most BEV and PHEV drivers reported charging their PEV every day, most often at home and overnight, and most were willing to charge once or more while actively driving on TNCs. A large cluster of TNC PEV drivers reported predominately using public DC fast charging, indicating a heavy reliance on public charging infrastructure. Range limitations topped the list of reasons why PHEV drivers did not opt for a BEV, and increased range topped the list of PEV drivers’ wishes to better support PEVs on TNCs. The next most common wish was for more charger locations. The third and fourth ranked wishes were financial bonuses for trip targets and more pre-trip information, which are more exclusively under the control of TNCs.

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