Auto Trader cars

Skip to contentSkip to footer

Why aren't women buying electric cars?

The shift to electric is an opportunity to make conversation on cars more inclusive - we joined Ford to put women in the driver's seat of the Mustang Mach-E

Erin Baker

Words by: Erin Baker

Published on 13 April 2022 | 0 min read

Electric cars are a new sort of vehicle. That might seem obvious, given they’re powered by batteries rather than internal combustion engines, and you charge them rather than refuel them. But they’re also a new form of transport, with a focus more on interiors, materials and low ownership costs, rather than how they handle, the noise they make or which gearbox they have. Or, indeed, the whole status symbol thing of what they say about you to other drivers.
It’s as much about what’s on the inside and the brand’s tech innovator values beyond the automotive realm. The electric car, more than any other development in the past 100 years, marks an existential step change for the automobile. It’s about more than getting from A to B as quickly as possible and is now a series of choices about how you reduce your carbon footprint, what work you can do and how you integrate that into your travel. Electric cars sound different, feel different to drive and move in a different way. The Mustang Mach-E is a good example - it feels extra solid, extra smooth and extra powerful from a standing start, and still has a wow factor inside, with a massive screen, fun apps and even an electronic code to open the door. So, this shift in tempo should be something more interesting to women than cars of the past. Speaking generally, female consumers have long been plugged in to sustainable products, quickly tire of reviews that obsess on chassis technology or handling and care more about running costs than performance. But the stats are worrying. 63 per cent of women don’t know about Government grants and other incentives for electric cars. One in five women haven’t considered an electric model for their next car, and, most worrying of all, a quarter of women actually think electric cars are more expensive to run, when not only is the reverse true, but it’s the only way electric cars make financial sense. Auto Trader teamed up with Ford and its Mustang Mach-E electric SUV last month to run a workshop for budding women motoring journalists on electric cars. Across the board we need more women content creators to help spread the word to female consumers about the benefits of going electric, and help #breakthebias in the automotive industry. Here are some snippets from the written and video pieces the fabulous women turned in at the end of the workshop.

Stella Scordellis

It wasn’t that long ago that scantily clad young women were draped across cars in adverts to lure men to part with their hard-earned cash.
Well, things have changed big time! And we women want to be included and spoken to directly about the performance and practicality of the vehicle in the showroom as well as the media to close the gender gap inequality for good. Don’t get me wrong, we know the words torque and horsepower, but the language we women use is far more expressive and emotional when we describe our cars and driving experiences. We are passionate about our carbon footprint, sustainability and the supply chain – words that belong in the 21st century. I doubt this was ever considered in the early days. But now we have to stand up, listen to our overheated planet and protect it for future generations. I recently had the pleasure of test driving a Ford Mustang Mach-E with a group of like-minded women. I have always loved Mustangs for their power and design prowess. We visited the Gridserve Electric Forecourt in Braintree, Essex where there were multiple charging points and shopping experiences. Currently you can charge at 40p/kWh, making £35 for 370 miles of range on the biggest battery and about an hour plugged in. This seems like simplicity on wheels, and I like the sound of that.

Lucia Forlini Cataldo

There are five things you need to know about the electric car revolution.
1) The government ban on new petrol and diesel cars will start in 2030, with the exception of some hybrids. The gradual phase-out of fossil fuel-powered vehicles on the road will be accompanied by investment in EV charging infrastructure and battery manufacturing, along with grants to help buyers make the switch. 2) With fuel prices steadily increasing, the daily running costs of the average electric vehicle are lower than those of a petrol-powered car. Ford’s new Mustang Mach-E can be fully charged at home for about £16, and at a public charger from about £25. 3) An EV is not just a car, it’s a lifestyle. Having to plan car journeys around extended charging stops changes the way people drive, work, and go on holiday. Prospective buyers need to take this into account when selecting their next car, although it’s quickly becoming less of a concern, with home chargers now widespread and public charging infrastructure growing rapidly. 4) Sustainability isn’t just about emissions. When it comes to measuring the environmental impact of a car, tailpipe emissions are only one component of the bigger picture. Other factors, such as the materials used for the interior, are taken into account as well. The Mustang Mach-E, for example, is not only zero-emission, but also vegan. 5) EVs are changing the car-buying experience. Automakers are using EVs as an opportunity to turn the traditional, dealer-based purchasing journey on its head, experimenting with new pathways such as direct-to-consumer online car sales. This trend may be especially welcomed by prospective buyers who dislike the “traditional” way of interacting with dealerships and prefer a more impersonal (and potentially less anxiety-inducing) experience.