Today’s Pickup: PEV, Tesla owners in California mostly rich men

Plus: UK zero waste grocer raises $500K; Seattle cuts back on Lime and Jump; Oregon opens hemp innovation center

Good day,

That Tesla buyers are mostly men and mostly rich doesn’t come as much of  a surprise. The car is pricey – ranging in cost from $35,000 to $124,000 before tax incentives – and the marketing skews masculine. That a majority of buyers of all plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in California are male comes as more of a surprise. But that’s one of the findings of a new study based on survey responses co-authored by Scott Hardman, a post-doctoral researcher at the UC Davis Institute for Transportation Studies. Hardman, who reported on the study during this week’s Roadmap 12 EV conference, said 49 percent of PEV buyers in the state were so-called “high-income” (those who earned more than $252,000 annually and owned their home), and only 24 percent of those high income buyers were women. The second-largest group of buyers – at 26 percent – earned an average of $127,000 annually, and only 26 percent in that category were women. An even smaller  proportion of women, 22 percent, were Tesla owners.

Interestingly, gender equity increased lower down on the income ladder – 48 percent of PEV owners who fell into a category defined as “middle income renters” were female. “I don’t know why so few women purchase EVs,” Hardman puzzled with FreightWaves after his talk. “It’s something we need to look into.”

One thing is certain: Since only 3.6 percent of California’s population falls into the high-income category, that group will not continue to be the largest group of PEV adopters. “The high income cluster will be saturated,” Hardman said.

Did you know?

The Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator is planning to pilot a last-mile zero emission area, where only zero emission vehicles are allowed to pickup/drop off parcels. The team is currently working to identify a suitable location.


“You have a right to go into a dealership and be sold an EV, rather than a gas car.”

Jay Friedland, Director of Plug-In America, defining an EV driver’s “Bill of Rights” at the Roadmap 12 EV conference in Portland this week

In other news

Zero-waste online supermarket Good Club crowdfunds $500K

The grocer aims to become the world’s first zero-waste online supermarket. (Ecommercenews)

Uber eyes acquisition of Mighty AI for self-driving car effort

The potential deal is another sign of a looming shakeout in the self-driving car field. (TheInformation)

Seattle cuts the number of Lime and Jump bikes allowed on the streets

The cuts penalize companies for not reporting improperly parked bikes. (Seattle Times)

Oregon State University launches research center focused on hemp

The Global Hemp Innovation Center will help accountability by standardizing U.S. hemp for a global market. (Oregonlive)

Final thoughts,

Supporters and opponents of Oregon’s cap-and-trade bill are on tenterhooks this week. The controversial bill passed the Oregon House on June 17, and a vote is expected this week in the Oregon Senate. If the legislation passes, Oregon will be only the second state after California to implement a cap-and-trade carbon emissions plan.

Hammer down, everyone!

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Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter

Linda Baker is a FreightWaves senior reporter based in Portland, Oregon. Her beat includes autonomous vehicles, the startup scene, clean trucking, and emissions regulations. Please send tips and story ideas to