The Tesla Model S has won accolades from all corners, but it’s especially popular with male buyers. Why is that?

According to Strategic Vision’s New Vehicle Experience Study, Tesla Motors [NSDQ: TSLA] has cultivated a strong following of men through its emphasis on performance.

The study found that Tesla has 29 percent fewer female owners than the average luxury brand, 10 percent fewer than the average electric car nameplate, and around 14 percent fewer than two other popular choices in the luxury segment, the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz CLS.

Tesla owners also expressed "Love" for their cars' "Overall Vehicle Experience" at a rate 20 percent higher than other plug-in electric car buyers.

Analysts believe this is because Tesla pitches the Model S as both an electric car and a performance car.

Unlike other green car buyers, Tesla owners considered performance to be more important than being green, or than energy efficiency.

Ninety percent of Tesla owners listed performance--specifically “Handling and Cornering"--as their top priority.

In contrast, 94 percent of Nissan Leaf owners said fuel economy (or, more properly, energy efficiency) was their top priority.

Of course, there are many other reasons to buy a Model S instead of a Leaf, as long as the buyer is willing to spend more to get more.

Given a choice, many buyers might choose a Tesla over other plug-in cars, just as they would might prefer a Mercedes-Benz S-Class over a Nissan Altima.

However, those Tesla buyers who say they’re interested in performance, not efficiency, crash-test safety, or any of the areas the Model S excels in--turn out to be a majority of men.

So while the Model S is a very different kind of car, it seems to have a very stereotypical kind of buyer.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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