DVLA urged to change driving tests to accommodate electric cars

Electric car uptake is increasing year on year with EV sales having increased by 40 percent in 2022. Despite 2022 being tough for the motoring industry due to the effects of the pandemic, it was the best year on record for electric vehicles with over 260,000 registrations. 

The figures now show that only petrol cars are more popular than EVs in the UK. 

Experts are estimating that there are around 660,000 electric cars on British roads as of today. 

With that in mind, experts at LeaseElectricCar.co.uk have launched a safety campaign that aims to increase the number of driving tests being taken in an EV. 

The experts stressed that the demand for tests in petrol or diesel cars will gradually fall, while the demand for tests in EVs will only go up. 

In addition to that, the experts believe that funding from the Government will make it easier to own an EV and lead to a further increase in popularity. 

The Government has pledged to spend over £1.5billion delivering some 300,000 new charging points across the UK. 

However, some are worried that learners might miss out as electric cars only have automatic gearboxes. 

The experts claimed that they do not see the need for learners to be able to drive a manual as EVs become more mainstream. 

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Nonetheless, another major worry is the lack of instructors with electric cars. 

The lack of charging points, as well as range anxiety, is putting many driving instructors off. 

However, with increased funding, the experts are hoping that the attitudes will soon change. 

Tim Alcock from LeaseElectricCar.co.uk said: “The current generation of learner drivers across the UK are the ones who will be seeing the increase of EV sales become more rapid when the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars comes in.

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“With a shift towards EVs already taking place in the UK, such as the £1.6billion Government commitment to revolutionise the electric vehicle industry, it makes sense for a greater number of learner drivers to start using EVs.

“Of course, the lack of EV driving instructors is an issue currently slowing down the move towards getting more electric vehicle motorists out onto the roads.

“There are few driving instructors in the country who have access to an electric vehicle for their students, as well as the issue of battery range lasting for lessons and the availability of charge points along UK roads.

“The practical driving test will one day soon have to be reformed to suit more pupils who are learning in electric vehicles.”

Mr Alcock added: “The DVLA will need to assess learner drivers’ understanding of things like economic use of battery power and charging techniques, as well as demonstrating braking and accelerating with a single driving pedal.

“But as the country approaches these future milestones and commitments to zero-emission vehicles, learner drivers should increasingly be offered the opportunity to drive electric vehicles.”

The expert also stressed that learners who sit the driving test in an EV will have to have a greater awareness of pedestrians.

This is because electric cars are extremely quiet with other road users being unable to hear the approaching car.

Learners will therefore have to anticipate additional hazards and remain extra vigilant. 

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