Do women drivers hold key to electric car success?

While many people still hold the stereotypical image of cars being more of a “man thing” the situation is very different when you look under the surface. A number of reports over the last few years have highlighted the fact that women have been the driving force behind the acceptance of new technology and electric cars certainly come into this category. There is therefore a growing belief that women drivers hold the key to the long-term success of the electric car industry.

[B]Driving styles[/B]

It is very dangerous to try to differentiate male and female driving styles when using electric vehicles but a number of studies having highlighted some interesting factors. Women drivers seem to be a little more cautious and appreciative of range anxiety while many male drivers seem determined to push this new technology to the limit. Tongue in cheek it was suggested that there are more male drivers of electric vehicles left stranded at the side of the road because they simply push their vehicles too far.

What many see as range capacity per recharge can be seen as a challenge in the minds of some drivers!

[B]Range estimators[/B]

Even though all electric vehicles come with a range estimator the value of these devices has been called into question on numerous occasions. When driving an electric vehicle there is obviously a greater focus upon your style of driving, and the terrain involved, when looking at range capacity. The make-up of the vehicle is different, the charge required for different terrains can vary and there is even variation depending upon the weather.

Therefore, many observers are now calling for more accurate range estimators perhaps giving you a best and worst case scenario to work from. While the ability to recharge at work or in city centres should not be underestimated this is another area which needs to be promoted more heavily.

[B]Purse strings[/B]

In yet again another dangerous stereotypical image, many observers believe that women hold the purse strings within the family make up. It is therefore a little surprising to learn that electric car companies have not really focused much of their promotion and advertising towards women drivers. History shows us that they have a significant input in the type and the choice of vehicle used by their family and this will perhaps be even more acute when “unknown technologies” such as electric vehicles come into play.

The issue of incentives and grants from governments looking to promote electric vehicles is something which many of us are aware of but to what extent? If governments are really keen on pushing electric vehicles then they should be promoting these grants and incentives far more than they are at the moment. If the money is there, if the technology is coming through and the electric vehicles are actually on the roads, what is stopping governments from promoting these short-term attractions?


It is very difficult to pigeonhole male and female drivers with regards to their style, choice and influence over the family vehicle. However, while driving may historically have been a male orientated pastime the situation has changed dramatically over the last 50 years. Electric car companies would do well to focus more of their advertising towards women drivers who take a more problematic and balanced approach to new technology.