Morning Brew - ☕ What women want

Why aren’t more women buying EVs?
April 03, 2024

Tech Brew

Altair

It’s Wednesday. The numbers don’t lie: Women are skittish about buying EVs. But what’s behind the hesitation, and what can automakers do to close the EV gender gap? Tech Brew’s Jordyn Grzelewski explores.

In today’s edition:

Jordyn Grzelewski, Patrick Kulp, Annie Saunders

FUTURE OF TRAVEL

Bridging the gap

Image of a man and a woman charging red and green electric vehicles. Monty Rakusen/Getty Images

When Kate Harrison drives her husband’s 2017 Tesla Model S, she notices its design, which is seemingly for taller bodies—like the seatbelt that won’t adjust comfortably for her. It’s a different story with the couple’s 2024 Tesla Model Y; Harrison says she finds it much more comfortable.

“The seat belt now adjusts, and the seat feels a little snugger on my body. I am really aware that they have redesigned that as a more universal experience instead of for men,” Harrison told Tech Brew.

Harrison—co-founder and head of marketing at EV transition startup MoveEV, which helps organizations convert their vehicle fleets to electric and reimburse employees for at-home charging—hopes to see similar progress as the automotive industry navigates a tricky transition that, at least so far, has seemed to largely leave women consumers in the dust.

Driving factors: There’s plenty of research to support the idea that men are leading EV adoption.

In the first half of 2023, men made up 67% of EV buyers, despite making up 59% of car buyers industrywide, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data cited by Edmunds. Edmunds surveyed car buyers last year and found that just 34% of women would consider an EV for their next vehicle, compared to 71% of men.

“No survey is truly reflective or definitive of an entire population of individuals, but early findings indicate there are stark differences between men and women when it comes to EV car shopping,” Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’s AVP of insights, wrote of the findings.

Keep reading here.—JG

   

PRESENTED BY ALTAIR

Now introducing…

Altair

…the next huuuge disruptors in the tech industry. Yep, we’re talkin’ about the company working at the center of rocket science and data science—the company that already changed the game in everything from automotive lightweighting to golf clubs.

Okay, we’ll spill the deets. Drum roll, pls . Say hi to Altair. They’re shaping the future with truly next-level tech, from design and simulation tools to HPC and AI innovation. You’re gonna wanna know all about ’em.

Luckily for you, we teamed up with Altair to write an article that breaks down everything you need to know about the company and how they’re working at the cutting edge of all things technology. It’s a must-read, really.

Get the scoop on the future.

AI

Welcoming AI to the team

Graphic featuring a headshot of AWS' Deepak Singh. Deepak Singh

Can AI help coders build more AI?

That’s part of what Deepak Singh, VP of Next Gen Developer Experience at Amazon Web Services, is tasked with figuring out. The longtime Amazon exec was appointed head of a newly formed team last year that’s focused on building generative AI tools that aim to help developers better build products on top of Amazon’s cloud.

In 2023 alone, he oversaw the rollout of tools like Amazon CodeWhisperer, an AI-powered coding assistant; parts of Amazon Q, an enterprise-focused chatbot; and PartyRock, a “playground” for building AI apps on Amazon’s Bedrock platform with no coding needed.

“Our mission at a high level [is] how do we change how customers build applications, and more specifically, How do they build and run those applications within AWS?” Singh said.

These efforts come as Amazon works to keep up with Big Tech peers like Microsoft and Google in the AI arms race. Amazon’s CodeWhisperer is in direct competition with Microsoft’s Github Copilot, and AWS and Microsoft Azure are both trying to lure AI developers to their respective clouds.

Tech Brew spoke with Singh about his team’s strategy, the state of the AI race, and the future of AI-powered coding.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

What have you learned since rolling out tools like CodeWhisperer about how AI can help developers?

What I’m seeing is most organizations start rolling it out in two ways: They either roll it out gradually—they start with one team and one team is successful, and they’ll start opening it up to other teams—or they roll it out to the whole org, and say, “Try it out. We’ll see where we end up,” because it’s so early. And I think different orgs have different skill sets and different cultures, and how they roll it out and use it varies.

[British Telecom] is a good example. They made it broadly available, and a good set of software developers started using it in less than four months. I think they’d written over 100,000 lines of code. And I think they had good acceptance rates, but I think what was useful was they were able to automate 10%–12% of things that they weren’t able to do before…And that’s typically what we see…I like using this metaphor of swimming pools. You go to any swimming pool complex, there’s usually three pools: a children’s pool, a regular pool that goes shallow to deep, and then there’s a swim team Olympics pool. Most of our customers are trying to figure out how to go from the children’s pool to the regular pool. A bunch are in the regular pool and are going into the deep end over the last year…And then there are some that go, “You know what? This thing is going to be transformational. We are going to make organizational changes and go right into the Olympic pool…What I really see people doing with things like CodeWhisperer is getting really strong at swimming laps and really understanding how these tools can help them, and using them while recognizing that they’re constantly proving and really quickly.

Keep reading here.—PK

   

AI

When we get there

A Google Maps logo over a screen of the app Sopa Images/Getty Images

Google is working on making its Maps service about more than just telling users where to turn left—eventually planning to serve up everything from related content to future vacation ideas, too.

The search giant said that it’s teamed with media outlets like the New York Times, Lonely Planet, and The Infatuation to add created lists of restaurants and attractions for certain travel destinations, beginning with 40 cities in the US and Canada. The company offered more details about how it’s bringing generative AI to Maps for the first time, a program announced in February that’s currently in pilot stages with select power users.

The updates, which Tech Brew previewed at a travel-themed Google event in Manhattan last week, come as Google has been using AI—not just generative AI—to change aspects of Maps, from info on EV charging stations to better recommendations.

Keep reading here.—PK

   

TOGETHER WITH ZETTE

Zette

The future isn’t behind a paywall. When you own equity in Zette, a Harvard-founded news AI startup, you’re investing in the future of democratized journalism. Zette already has 50k readers and deals with 110 publishers. With 5x year-over-year growth, they’re just getting started. This deal is closing soon: Invest starting at $250.

BITS AND BYTES

Stat: 21%. That’s how much the stock of Trump Media and Technology Group plummeted earlier this week after a stock-market debut that valued the company at over $8 billion, the Washington Post reported. The company, which owns the former president’s social media outlet, Truth Social, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it lost over $58 million in 2023.

Quote: “I’ll tell you what: Why don’t you get to work on curing the diseases and the climate change, and we’ll hold down the fort on toast?”—Jon Stewart in a Daily Show segment on the “false promises of AI.”

Read: 20 years of Gmail (The Verge)

Innovation sensation: There’s a tech company doing absolutely mind-bending stuff at the edge of rocket science and data science. Who? Get the scoop here.*

*A message from our sponsor.

JOBS

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