Government removes the plug-in car grant

Call for more driving lessons and tests in electric vehicles


More learner drivers should be encouraged to take lessons and tests in electric cars on UK roads. That’s the view at least of LeaseElectricCar, as the country moves towards a culture of zero-emissions 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 set to increase. According to LeaseElectricCar, the company noticed a huge increase in interest from people wanting to lease electric vehicles over the last year, specifically a 200% uplift in enquiries in September 2021 compared to September 2020.

“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,” said a spokesperson for LeaseElectricCar.

“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, as well as taken their test in one here 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, which may be seen by some as a barrier to embracing electric vehicles while learning.

Of course, not needing to learn how to change gears or to use the clutch might hold added appeal for some who otherwise are not keen on learning to drive at present. Other differences to driving an EV include differences in braking, no noisy engine, instant acceleration and fully-automated systems.

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