Call for more driving lessons and tests in electric vehicles

Source: press release, 8 December 2021

As electric cars become more mainstream, learner drivers should be given an opportunity to experience what it is like behind the wheel of an EV
As electric cars become more mainstream, learner drivers should be given an opportunity to experience what it is like behind the wheel of an EV (photo: LeaseElectricCar.co.uk)

More learner drivers should be encouraged to take lessons and tests in electric cars on UK roads. That’s the view of LeaseElectricCar.co.uk as the country edges towards a culture of zero-emission vehicles in the wake of COP26.

Under current plans, the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK from 2030, with some hybrid cars allowed until 2035, so the demand for electric cars is only going to increase.

LeaseElectricCar.co.uk has itself noticed a huge increase in interest from people wanting to lease its electric vehicles over the last year. There was a 200% uplift in enquiries in September this year compared to September 2020.

A spokesman for LeaseElectricCar.co.uk says, “Many learner drivers represent the next generation of motorists – a generation which will witness huge strides in tackling climate change across the world. Already the UK has ambitions to reduce the number of petrol and diesel cars on our roads, and there has been a recent Government announcement suggesting new homes will have EV chargers by law, so the culture towards electric cars is happening. It makes sense for a greater number of learner drivers to get the opportunity for all or at least for some of their learning to take place in electric cars as we approach these future milestones.”

People have already learnt to drive in electric vehicles and also taken their test in one in the UK.

However, learner drivers who take a test in an EV will only be able to drive electric cars and automatic internal combustion engine (ICE) cars without gears – so this may be seen by some as a barrier to embracing electric vehicles while learning.

But without the need to learn how to change gears or to use the clutch, this might hold added appeal for some people who otherwise are not keen on learning to drive at the present time.

Other aspects of an EV which may require some getting used to include differences in braking, the lack of a noisy engine, instant acceleration and fully automated systems.

There is also an argument that as electric cars become more mainstream, learner drivers should be given an opportunity to experience what it is like behind the wheel of an EV, even if they are also learning in a vehicle with a combustion engine too. This would help them to be more prepared and comfortable driving an electric car on UK roads once they have qualified.