Experts call for EV update to driving tests

EV experts are urging the DVLA to encourage more UK learner drivers to take lessons and tests in electric cars.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, EV sales in the UK are expected to reach one in four of new cars in 2023, while sales of used EVs reached a new record high during 2022.

With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK to be banned in just seven years’ time, demand for electric cars is only going to continue to increase.

Tim Alcock of LeaseElectricCar said: “With a shift towards EVs already taking place in the UK, such as the £1.6bn 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. 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.”