Women and Electric Cars: Navigating EV Ownership
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Women and Electric Cars: Navigating EV Ownership

Woman walking behind Kia EV9, Women and Electric cars
  • Low-cost overnight at-home charging makes EV ownership convenient.
  • EVs have large backseats and cargo areas, making them perfect for moms who need to haul kids and gear.
  • EVs can provide a smooth and quiet driving experience with plenty of added benefits.
  • Public charging is getting easier as more businesses add safe and well-lit locations at grocery stores and other desirable destinations.
  • Use the Chargeway app for easy road trip planning.

While more women than ever before are buying their own vehicles, most aren’t buying electric cars. According to S&P Global, men are buying 72% of the electric vehicles in the United States. This statistic shows that women and electric cars haven’t found each other yet, and the industry has to prove to women that electric cars fit their lifestyles.


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The low maintenance, ease of charging, and impressive range make electric vehicles perfect for women. Somehow, companies like Tesla and Rivian haven’t shown women the benefits of driving an EV. When you look at the demographics of Tesla owners or Rivian owners, it’s clear that these companies have some serious work to do to bridge the EV gender gap. Hedges Company reports that 2024 Tesla ownership “skew[s] 74% male,” meaning that women are either not being marketed to or don’t get to see the perks of having electric cars.


Why EVs Are the Perfect Mom Taxis

Image care of Rivian

When I hear about people complaining that no one wants EVs, my experience proves them wrong. I wish I had an EV when my children were younger when I had to drive them to practices and after-school events. Modern and affordable EVs with plenty of range like the Kia EV9, Volkswagen ID.4, Ford Mustang Mach-E, and Toyota bZ4x are perfect for anyone who can charge overnight at home — it doesn’t matter if you drive 10 miles or 200 miles per day.

Image care of Rivian

Electric vehicles are perfect for the school pick-up line, as you can listen to your podcasts or music without having a noisy engine get in the way. You can even enjoy the silence and turn on the heater or air conditioning without running the EV motor.

Another benefit is the spaciousness inside. I invite anyone to check out the roomy backseat in the Kia EV6 — you’ll be surprised at how big it is — with plenty of legroom and shoulder room for three grown adults! If you need a three-row SUV, the Kia EV9 and the Rivian R1S have the space, range, and interior amenities that will make moms comfortable and keep children entertained.

I’ve been a travel-sports mom for years, and I use my EV6 to drive to my son’s college baseball games. My EV6 trunk is big enough for all the travel-sports-mom needs like camp chairs, a folding wagon, some overnight bags, blankets, sports gear, and a 48-quart cooler!


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Learn From Other Women

As a woman navigating the world of EVs, my experience has been positive. My electrified journey began with a plug-in hybrid 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, and now I drive a 2023 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD. I’ve had an Enel X Way JuiceBox 40 Level 2 charger in my garage since the summer of 2021.

Charging overnight is significantly less expensive than charging at a public DC fast charger. I will spend less than $10 charging my EV6 overnight. I also have the benefit of having a bank of Electrify America Level 3 chargers less than a mile from my home. So, if I need to charge quickly, I can. When on road trips, I don’t mind stopping to charge, as I get to stretch my legs, get some steps in, or get a bite to eat. I plan for the extra time and use the Chargeway app to find spots that are in safe, well-lit locations.


Range and Charging Speed

Image care of Kia – EV6 GT

I chose to go fully electric because it fits my lifestyle. I studied range, charging speeds, and interior features. I chose the Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD because I live in West Michigan, and I need all-wheel drive in the winter. The EV6 AWD doesn’t have the longest range of the EV6 models, but safe winter driving matters to me. My first choice was the EV6 GT, but I wanted more highway range than the sport-tuned model delivers.

I also evaluated my mileage needs and how often I need to charge. People who aren’t aware of EV range often think EVs need nightly charging. They don’t. I have a 32-mile commute each day, and I only charge once per week — usually overnight on Saturday or Sunday.


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Ease of Finding Public Charging Stops

It’s true that owning an electric car involves a small learning curve. Understanding range and charging needs takes time, but it’s manageable, especially as public EV charging options grow.


Locations of Public Charging Stations

When I take my EV6 on road trips, the majority of my public charging stops are at Walmart or Meijer parking lots. They are well-lit, and I appreciate being able to go into the stores to shop or get some steps in. Some Meijer stores have tables near the deli where I can get a bit of work done.

I’ve never felt unsafe while charging, and I frequently use my public charging time to chat with other EV owners about how much we love our EVs. On my way to West Virginia, I stopped at Gallipolis, Ohio, to fill up at the community’s downtown charging station, took a walk along the Ohio River, and shopped in a small local boutique. If I had children with me, they would have enjoyed the riverside park with its ample room for running! I never would have found this little town with a gas-powered car.


Plan for Charging Stops

Chargeway app 2.0 version showing map with charging stations
Image care of Chargeway and Asylab

The learning curve with EV ownership involves planning routes with the fastest charging stops before embarking on a road trip. Chargeway is my go-to app. Before making hotel reservations, I search for nearby fast chargers. Then, I use the trip planning tool to see what stops the app recommends.

On my last road trip to Dayton, Ohio, I had to customize my route because of a lack of fast chargers. Google Maps and Chargeway recommended the fastest route through Fort Wayne, Indiana — but the area does not have any Level 3 fast chargers. So, I zoomed out on the Chargeway app to find a different route with a DC fast charger at a rest stop on the I-90 toll road. While my car charged, I had a slice of Sbarro pizza inside the rest stop (which was full of people and surveillance cameras), and 20 minutes later, I was on the way to Dayton – which has plenty of public EV chargers. I used the same worry-free route on the way home.

My EV6 needs 15 to 20 minutes to reach an 80% charge from 20% or lower. If I want to get closer to 100%, it needs about double that time because the charging system slows down as soon as it hits 80%. This is common charging behavior among all EVs.


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Why the Chargeway App Is Best

The Chargeway app is a great tool for anyone with an EV. I like the app because it has photos of the charging stations, reviews, and up-to-the-minute status reports. The color-coded system shows what types of charging plugs are at a given station so I can know the best place to stop in order to charge up. It’s easy to use, especially compared to the Plugshare app.


Minimal Maintenance Needs

Image care of Kia

Another benefit of owning an EV is the minimal maintenance they require. My Kia EV6 never needs oil changes. On cold mornings, I can start it from the Kia Access smartphone app and never worry about “cold starts” and excessive exhaust while idling. I don’t have to worry about a costly transmission, an exhaust system, or engine issues.

The federal government mandates that EV batteries and related components have at least a 100,000-mile/8-year warranty, so any problems are covered by the manufacturer. We’ve tested this out, as our PHEV Jeep Wrangler 4xe has almost 50,000 miles on it, and a component in the onboard EV charger needed to be replaced. Because it was related to the EV battery, the repair was free — even after the 36,000-mile warranty had long expired.

I don’t have to spend hours waiting for my EV6 to be maintained. The first required maintenance included a new cabin air filter and a tire rotation. I was in and out of the dealership in less than 30 minutes, so I didn’t have to arrange a pickup or rent a car.


I’m Sold on the EV Experience

My family of four has owned a variety of vehicles over the years including a RAM 1500 with a Hemi V8, a Lexus ES300h, a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a 3.6L V6, and many more. I’m sold on the EV experience. I’d much rather have my vehicle charge cheaply overnight than fill up at a gas station any day. I love the smooth and quiet ride, instant torque, and zero-emissions experience.

Once women and electric cars find each other, I’m safely betting that they won’t want to give them up.


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FEATURE IMAGE: KIA

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AUTHOR: 

KRISTEN BENTLEY

3 Responses

  1. What you very conveniently ignored is the reliability factor. My wife had preorder an ID4 and cancelled after a series of issues kept cropping up, including sudden shutdown and 12v battery failure.
    These issues plague all the brands of EVs.
    Until those are sorted out these firms will struggle to make significant inroads past early adoptors

    1. 12v battery failure is not unique to EV’s, will shut down any vehicle. Our 2019 Bolt has been very reliable, getting ready for 2nd scheduled maintenance at 50,000 miles, a cabin air filter.

      1. 12v battery shutdown is a particular issue with EVs as it frequently impacts while driving – this is not something that happens to ICE cars

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