Dataset: The role of gender in consumer markets for electric vehicles

Data are from households who had a acquired at least one household vehicle as new (rather than used) since January 2008. The questionnaire was administered on-line to households in the following US states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode, Island, Vermont, and Washington. Most of these states are so called “ZEV states,” i.e., they had adopted California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate. Those states that were not ZEV states were included to facilitate regional analysis or because they were otherwise important to the initial launch of retail ZEV sales in 2011. The primary regional analysis was for the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM). The NESCAUM member states are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

While household ownership and purchase of all light-duty passenger cars and trucks approach gender parity, to date zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) are being purchased by far more men than women. Prior analysis of data from California finds no reason based in the prospective interest in ZEVs of female and male respondents why this difference should persist. The present report extends the California analysis to 12 other US states with varying ZEV policy and market contexts. 

Among many other contextual, socio-economic, demographic, and attitudinal measures, the survey solicited participants’ prospective interest in acquiring an ZEV, that is, their interest in their next new car. Participants then indicated why they were motivated to select a ZEV or what motivated them to not select one. Factor analysis was used to reduce the dimensionality of participants’ prior awareness, experience, knowledge, and assessments of ZEVs. Via nominal logistic regression modeling, differences in prospective interest in ZEVs between female and male respondents are examined. Given their prospective interest, the motivations of female and male respondents are compared. 

Overall, no difference between female and male participants in prospective interest in a ZEV rises to the level of the observed differences in real markets. Further, the multivariate modeling indicates no statistically significant effect of a sex indicator on prospective interest in ZEVS almost anywhere in these states. Where there is a difference, female participants are estimated to be more likely to choose a ZEV than their male counterparts. 

While participants from both sexes tend to give high scores to the same ZEV (de)motivations, differences in their rank orders repeat generalizations from other research. On average, female respondents score environmental motivations higher than do male respondents. On average, interest in “new technology” is more motivating to male than female participants. Conversely, on average female respondents who do not select a ZEV score “unfamiliar technology” more highly than their male counterparts. 

Within the variation in policy and market contexts represented by the states in this study, no finding here explains why similar prospective interest among female and male participants in ZEVs from the beginning of 2015 has yet to be turned toward equal participation in ZEV markets. Explanations may lie in factors not modeled here.