Should Driving Test Change For Electric Vehicles?

Wed 4th Mar 2020

One of the UK’s biggest insurers has called for major changes to the driving test to take into consideration the rapid move towards electric cars.

Electric vehicle ownership was up 150 per cent in 2019, and that growth is likely to continue rising following the Government’s plans to ban the sale of combustion engine vehicles within the next 12 to 15 years.

Though there are no actual differences between driving a petrol engine car and an electric engine car, LV= General Insurance is claiming that many drivers are confused about the ‘differences’ and that the test is not catering for greener drivers.

Tom Clarke, head of electric vehicle strategy at LV=GI comments: “As the UK moves towards becoming net-zero, UK drivers need to have a greater understanding of electric cars in order to have the confidence to make the switch.

“The fact that nearly two-thirds (72 per cent) of electric car drivers say taking their driving test in an electric car would have been a benefit to them highlights the reality that the driving test in its current form is no longer relevant for the new wave of ‘green’ drivers.”

While the actual driving element of an EV is no different, Clarke points out that some of the ‘show me, tell me’ elements of the test could be adapted to greener cars, such as knowing how to turn on the eco mode or finding the location of charging spots.

The DVLA points out that drivers are free to take their test in an electric vehicle and that examiners can make safety questions relevant to the vehicle they are in.

DVSA chief driving examiner Mark Winn said: “DVSA’s priority is to help everyone through a lifetime of safe driving. “Drivers are free to choose which type of vehicle they take their test in, including electric cars, as long as it meets the requirements. We welcome any feedback on driver training and our testing regime is kept under constant review.”