Almost half of motorists in the UK would take an electric car lesson if such things were offered by driving schools, according to new research. A study by the AA found 44 percent of qualified UK drivers would like the chance of an electric vehicle (EV) lesson to boost their knowledge of the new tech.
The survey of more than 13,000 drivers revealed younger drivers and those in London were among the most likely to be interested in EV driving lessons. Half (49 percent) of 18-24-year-olds questioned said they would be interested in an electric car lesson, while 53 percent of Londoners said the same thing.
The AA said the trend could well be down to the recent expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the capital, which may be prompting drivers to consider lower-emission vehicles. However, the AA Driving School’s interim managing director, Mark Oakley, said the transition to electric cars may be confusing for those more accustomed to petrol and diesel.
“As we head towards 2030, more and more learners will be starting their driving life in an EV,” he said. “Terminology such as ‘charging’ and ‘range’ will be second nature to them, but it is a learning curve for drivers who have been used to combustion engines for decades.
“We know there are lots of myths and misconceptions about driving EVs that are stopping some drivers from making the switch. Having the opportunity to take a lesson with an instructor in an EV could be a really useful way for many drivers to overcome their concerns and see that driving an EV is a great option for them and the environment.”
As the government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars looms, the AA Driving School has called on the authorities to update the Highway Code to include more information about electric vehicles. The code has already been updated to add a warning in the ‘waiting and parking’ section to remind drivers that EV charging cables can be a trip hazard on the pavement, but this is the only inclusion thus far.
The AA wants more information to be included to help drivers make the transition from petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles to electric and plug-in hybrid cars. But from March 2022, the driving school is taking matters into its own hands by diversifying its fleet to include some electric cars. The Peugeot e-208 hatchback and e-2008 SUV will join the fleet of cars available to instructors, alongside the Vauxhall Corsa-e electric hatchback.