AA Driving School goes electric! It now offers EV driving lessons as two in five learners say they could be swayed to ditch the manual route
- AA Driving School have added 100 electric cars for learners
- The new fleet could see 1,700 tonnes of carbon saved in 12 months
- An additional 15% of current instructors put on waiting list for EVs
- Two in five current learners said they would switch to EV lessons if available
AA Driving School is introducing more than 100 electric cars to its fleet, as the demand for electric driving lessons grows.
Learners in London, Liverpool and Cardiff will be able to get started with EV lessons this month, with more locations expected in the coming year.
Automatic lessons are growing more popular among younger drivers, with 13.8 per cent of drivers opting to take their test in an automatic car in 2021.
Driving an electric car is broadly the same, as there is no gear shifting required like a manual car.
Pictured: Peugeot e-208, AA launches its first electric car fleet as 78% of instructors said they’d make the switch to all electric
AA Driving School instructors can choose between the Vauxhall Corsa-e, and Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 SUV.
The AA says qualified drivers should take a refresher lesson in an EV to help with the finer details of how to use the car and relieve anxiety on the road, if they plan to go electric.
Meanwhile, a snap poll of AA Driving School instructors found 78 per cent said they would make the switch to teaching in an EV if they had the option, with the main reason fuel savings followed by the environmental benefits.
Last month, we asked a number of driving schools about their plans to go electric – and whether there would soon be an electric-specific test.
Research suggests that two in five current learners could be tempted to switch to electric cars if they were available.
Around three in five 17-to-24 year-olds also plan on completing an automatic driving test, according to a recent survey from road safety charity IAM Roadsmart.
When asked if they would consider driving an EV in the future, 67 per cent of learners said they would, one quarter said they might consider it and only 6 per cent said they would never consider driving an EV.
Driving an electric vehicle isn’t radically different to driving any other type of automatic vehicle, but many drivers have concerns about switching to an EV because of range anxiety or charge point confusion.
Lessons in an electric vehicle follow roughly the same format as lessons in an automatic vehicle as learners will need to master the same manoeuvres and demonstrate the same safe driving skills.
However, as learners continue using an electric vehicle they will also learn how to charge their EV, understand range and dashboard symbols, as well as regenerative braking.
AA Driving School instructors can choose between the Vauxhall Corsa-e, and Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 SUV (pictured) as the company adds more EVs to its learner fleet
The demand for automatic and electric car tests is expected to soar in the next decade, as AA driving schools offers a fleet of electric cars to help learners prepare
Mark Oakley, interim managing director of AA Driving School said: ‘We’ve been speaking to our instructors for a little while and have been thrilled with how positive they are about the switch, following a successful EV trial last year.
‘We are fully committed to bringing EV lessons to the whole of the UK and transform our environmental impact over the coming years.
‘The main difference with learning in an electric car is the transmission and learners will have to take an automatic driving test, so will not be eligible to drive a manual car.
‘We ask the Government to consider modernising the driving test, so the next generation of drivers are encouraged to switch to EVs sooner.’
The AA also recently looked into the cost of EVs for driving instructors, suggesting they would provide instructors with marginal savings.
Trading in a Peugeot 208 GT for the electric equivalent, the Peugeot e208 GT with a total business mileage will be 28,800 a year would an annual saving of £43.
Edmund King, AA president, said: ‘The world of cars is changing. A revolution is coming, and younger people are beginning to see that the 2030 deadline banning new petrol and diesel cars is really not far away.
‘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.’