Electric vehicle (EVs) sales are down among men. The culprit? Masculinity, sexism, homophobia, and every progressive buzzword under the sun.
In other words, consumer choice is bad and social activism is good.
A study conducted at the University of Texas blames ‘traditional masculine views’’ for why men purchase fewer EVs than other modes of transportation.
Dr. Michael Parent, who studies identity and consumer behaviour, contends that EVs threaten ingrained masculine attitudes despite their masculine appeal.
About 40% of ‘real men’ ranked EVs as 'the worst' mode of transportation, he said.
In Canada, fewer than one in five of its 43,000 electric vehicle chargers are operational, according to new government data.
Despite the poor infrastructure, the federal government remains committed to funding EV charging stations nationwide. By 2029, they aim to build 84,500 chargers.
Only 23,000 charging ports are operational nationwide, including those paid for with private funding.
By introducing two funding streams, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) will fund up to half the cost of installing public fast EV chargers in 2016. Three years later, a second program emerged to include additional types of chargers.
According to NRC data, the programs fund 43,046 chargers, of which only 7,644 work.
The first program provided funding for 1,096 EV chargers, and almost 20% are still not operational.
The second program received a $280 million five-year investment in 2019 to install 33,500 chargers by 2025. The feds expanded the plan another two years for $400 million in more funding.
As of August 21, NRC says 42,007 chargers have been "selected for funding," and 6,697 are operational.
Regardless, Parent claims that ‘real men’ perceive purchasing EVs as detrimental to maintaining manhood. So, instead, they drive gas-powered pickup trucks.
“Consumer good purchase decisions are made, to a degree, with consideration toward how those purchases reflect personal identities,” he wrote.
“The study indicates that […] the degree to which threats to masculinity threaten one’s self-worth is linked to decreased consumer preference for electric vehicles.”
However, an August 25 report by Electric Autonomy Canada said EV sales rose 11% of total market share last spring — the highest proportion ever for Canadian drivers.
Dunsky Energy and Climate contends Canada will need 52,000 chargers by the end of 2025 and roughly 200,000 by 2030 to meet ambitious EV sale targets outlined by the federal government.
Despite the findings, Parent said his study presents no data to show a direct causal link between masculinity and consumer attitudes toward EVs.
“Many men are likely susceptible to masculinity threats without being consciously aware of it,” he wrote.
“As such, experimental research in the precarious masculinity paradigm on consumer research would be valuable.”