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Electric vehicles (EVs) are set to become the future as new petrol and diesel cars will be banned from the road from 2030 – something that AA President Edmund King says is prompting learner drivers to choose ‘simpler’ automatic tests.
Unlike traditional petrol and diesel cars, EVs are usually automatic as they don’t require a clutch or gears.
The AA’s British School of Motoring is due to roll out driving lessons specifically designed for electric cars early next year, with King telling The Telegraph: “The world of cars is changing. A revolution is coming. I think younger people are beginning to realise that 2030 is really not very far away."
The number of learner drivers taking their test in an automatic car has more than tripled since 2008, shooting from 3.8 per cent of tests to 13.8 percent.
King believes this is partly down to young drivers taking an ‘easier test to prepare’ for an electric future on the roads.
From the new year, the AA’s driving school will introduce EV driving lessons nationally for the first time, teaching students how to conserve their battery and drive with one pedal instead of changing gears.
The school – which is the largest driving school in the country – will also allow instructors to lease an electric car after successful trials and discussions with the government.
King continued: “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.
“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.”
He also said there was a ‘reluctance’ among young people to buy an EV as ‘they are quite pricey', adding: “The insurance costs a lot too.”
Gordon Witherspoon, Deputy Chief Driving Examiner of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), told the Telegraph that the DVSA constantly reviews tests for all vehicles to take account of changes in technology and driving habits.
He said: “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."