Across Early Policy and Market Contexts, Women and Men Show Similar Interest in Electric Vehicles

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) will rely, ultimately, on the participation of all vehicle buyers. While nearly equal numbers of new vehicles are purchased by men and women, to date EVs are being acquired by far more men than women. Prior analysis of data from California at the end of 2014 found no difference between women and men in prospective interest in EVs; similar percentages were interested in an EV being the next new vehicle for their household. Yet today—years after these results were reported—the gender disparity in EV sales and registrations persists.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis examined whether the gender similarities in prospective interest in EVs witnessed in California extended to other states that, while generally supportive of California’s EV goals and signatories to many of California’s air quality standards had less supportive policy frameworks, fewer EV sales, and less EV charging infrastructure in 2014. The researchers re-analyzed the same late-2014 data from Oregon, Washington, and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). This policy brief summarizes the findings from that research and provides policy implications.