Female Early Adopters of E-Carsharing
Nominated for The Neil Mansfield Award
Ines Kawgan-Kagan, TU Berlin
This Paper is part of a multimethodological study to answer the question how women can be addressed as target groups for e-carsharing. It builds a basis to identify current female early adopters and understand their preferences in e-carsharing.
Carsharing with battery electric vehicles can help reducing urban space scarcity, local and global emissions and noise exposure. However, operating a carsharing scheme with electric vehicles is more expensive and offers users less autonomy than carsharing powered by internal combustion engines. Thus, carsharing providers need to identify and address target groups for these mobility services. The majority of electrical vehicles owners are middle-aged men with a high education and high income; they usually live in a household that owns more than one car and are most likely to have a full-time employment. The socio-demographic background for early adopters of carsharing is congruent with the identified characterisations of early adopters of electrical vehicles. Carsharing subscribers are mainly between the age of 35 and 45 years, with a higher education and income. International studies showed a higher awareness of both groups of early adopters. It becomes salient that women are consistently underrepresented in previous studies and therefore should be focussed on.
In general, adult women are more likely to head for multiple destinations and their mobility includes more complex trip chains due to their traditional social role which involves responsibility for shopping and family errands. These trips usually are of short distance and therefore could be easily covered by using e-carsharing. Women show greater awareness of environmental issues and have more positive attitude towards ecological measures like reducing car use and using public transportation. While taking greater household and family responsibilities, women have the potential to be role models for the future generation in creating a shift towards sustainable mobility services. However, exact requirements and preferences of women have to be identified. In order to identify female early adopters of carsharing and e-carsharing, a German sample of 492 carsharing subscribers from Berlin is analysed. This sample confirms socio-demographic findings about early adopters. The majority of the sample is male, well-educated, and full-time employed. More than a third receives a monthly gross household income of more than 4,000 Euro.
Comparing female and male carsharers revealed small differences the in socio-demographic backgrounds, such as age and income. As shown, female early adopters show a high potential for using BEVs in carsharing services. If women use free-floating carsharing services, they are more likely to choose providers offering BEVs. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that women rather prefer one type of car instead of trying different cars. Female early adopters use bikes more often and ICEVs and BEVs less often compared to men. The analyses of traffic behaviour, the use of (e-) carsharing and the attitudinal variables revealed that female early adopters tend to use carsharing services in the original meaning as an additional part for urban mobility and not for testing car models as much as men do. Additionally, carsharing offers a cheaper access to using a car when needed and not having to buying one oneself.
For the first time a sample containing carsharing and e-carsharing subscribers is analysed to get insights about female early adopters of carsharing and e-carsharing presented in this paper. The findings are the first step in a multimethodological study to answer the question how women can be addressed as target groups for e-carsharing. It builds a basis to identify current female early adopters and understand their preferences in e-carsharing.
Association for European Transport