Switch to E-cars means learners will no longer need to learn gears

Switch to E-cars means young motorists will not longer need to learn how to change gear, AA says

  • AA’s driving school set to roll out driving lessons for electric vehicles next year  
  • Edmund King said young learner drivers are choosing ‘simpler’ automatic tests 
  • New petrol and diesel vehicles are set to be banned from the road from 2030

Learning how to change gear won’t be necessary for future young drivers, according to the president of the AA.

The motoring association’s driving school is set to roll out driving lessons specifically for electric vehicles next year.

Edmund King said that young learner drivers are choosing ‘simpler’ automatic tests because new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned from the road from 2030. 

The motoring association’s driving school is set to roll out driving lessons specifically for electric vehicles next year

The number of learner drivers taking their test in an automatic car has more than tripled since 2008 – from 3.8 per cent of tests to 13.8 per cent. 

Mr King puts this rise in part down to young drivers taking ‘an easier test to prepare’ for an electric future.

‘There is increasingly an acknowledgement that you do not necessarily need to learn how to change gear. In the very near future, you will only need to drive an automatic, because all EVs are automatic,’ Mr King told The Daily Telegraph.

‘Obviously, it is much harder to learn on a stickshift, because the most difficult thing to gather is clutch control. That takes up the first five lessons.’

The AA-owned British School of Motoring will introduce electric car driving lessons nationally for the first time in the new year.

The number of learner drivers taking their test in an automatic car has more than tripled since 2008 – from 3.8 per cent of tests to 13.8 per cent

The largest driving school in the country will teach students how to conserve a car battery and drive with one pedal – rather than gear changes.

It will also allow instructors to lease an electric car after successful trials and discussions with the Government last year.

Mr King admitted that there was a ‘reluctance’ among young people to buy an electric vehicle because ‘they are quite pricey and the insurance costs a lot too’.

It comes as driving tests could be changed to include lessons on electric cars and those who take automatic car tests being allowed to drive manual vehicles to ensure they can drive classic cars.

Gordon Witherspoon, DVSA’s Deputy Chief Driving Examiner, told the paper that the DVSA constantly review tests for all vehicles to take account of changes in driving habit and technology.

‘We have already started work to look at the impact of electric vehicles on driver and rider education and assessment and to plan for any changes that this shift in vehicle type and use will need,’ he said.

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