Transport Cars

Early adopters of electric cars are rich, urban, educated men

Excerpt from wNYC

May 14, 2013 3:00 am

Skift Take

The differences in transit habits of those with and without electric cars has more to do with what drives people to purchase such a car and less to do with EV completely changing drivers’ commutes.

— Samantha Shankman

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Fiona Bradley  / Flickr

Electric cars line the streets in Oslo, Norway. Fiona Bradley / Flickr


A study from Norway sheds a little light on what kind of person is buying electric cars, and how they drive.

The Institute of Transport Economics in Norway concludes that the typical early-adopter of an electric vehicle is likely to be a man, probably middle-aged, living in or near a big city who has a high income and education level, according to a literature review of various studies from multiple countries. One French study found the early adopters also tended to work in industries that exposed them first hand to EVs before buying one, such as electricians, or government workers in municipalities with EV fleets.

This scan of studies paints a picture that EV adoption is still far from widespread, but that the very act of owning an EV might change the owner’s behavior and government polices can influence the choice to own an EV.

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