AA president: Learning how to change gears increasingly a thing of the past

·1-min read

The coming electric vehicle (EV) revolution will eliminate the need for young drivers to learn how to change gears, the president of the AA has said.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Edmund King said the Government’s decision to ban the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 has fuelled a shift in learner drivers favouring lessons in automatic cars.

From next year, the AA-owned British School of Motoring (BSM) will roll out electric car driving lessons nationally for the first time, with pupils being taught how to conserve their battery and drive with one pedal rather than how and when to change gear.

Mr King, who drives an electric car, told the paper: “The world of cars is changing. A revolution is coming. I think younger people are beginning to realise that 2030 is really not very 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.”

The Telegraph, citing an analysis of data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, says the number of learner drivers taking their test in an automatic rather than a manual car has risen from 3.8% in 2008 to 13.8% in 2020.

Mr King attributed the increase to young drivers preparing for an EV future.

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