A Guide to Learning to drive in an EV

EV Driving Guide - Learning to Drive an EV

As we accelerate into the electric era, with greater electric car models available and increasing government support, it’s no surprise that more and more people are starting to learn to drive EVs.

According to ZapMap, as of the end of September 2022 there were more than 570,000 battery-electric cars registered in the UK. And 38,116 of the new cars registered in September alone were battery-electric cars.

It’s clear that we are fast approaching the 2030 deadline which will see the end of selling new petrol or diesel cars.

So, the need for more of us to know how to drive them with confidence is growing every day.

Are you wanting to get behind the wheel or know someone who is? Here’s our EV driving tips for learning to drive in an EV.

Can you learn to drive in an EV?

Put simply, yes you can learn to drive in an electric car.

As we said above, it makes sense for people to be able to learn to drive in the type of cars that most people will be driving in years to come and there are lots of driving schools around that use electric cars.

This makes particular sense if your own car at home is already an EV or hybrid.

However, there are some electric car driving tips you need to know:

  • You can take your test in an electric car
  • Passing means that you can only drive an electric car or an automatic car with an internal combustion engine
  • EVs generally don’t have gears - you won’t know how to use the gears, clutch, and gear stick in a manual car

Of course, it’s not likely that someone driving an electric car currently would switch back to an ICE car because of the changes that are happening. But anyone who might need to drive one as well as their EV would need additional lessons and a test in a manual car.

In this case, if you are likely to need to also drive a manual car sometimes, it might be more cost effective to learn and take your test in one rather than in an EV.

Otherwise, you will effectively be learning to drive twice and that would just be so much fun (not!).

How difficult is it to drive an EV?

In many ways, driving an EV is much simpler than a traditional manual ICE car.

Given that 2.6 million people in the UK say they are ‘too scared’ to learn to drive, maybe learning in an EV would be a better way for them to get behind the wheel.

Using an automatic rather than manual system removes much of the stress and difficulty of getting used to driving:

  • If you’ve learned in a manual car, you will remember the embarrassment of stalling at a traffic light
  • Or crunching through the gears as your driving instructor winces
  • Gears are tricky to learn to use and an EV removes this obstacle. Pretty good, right?

There are things you need to learn about driving an EV of course, like how and when to charge them, but driving instructors can help with these. We also have a few handy articles to help you with things such as electric car charging points at home and electric vehicle charging modes.

What licence do I need to drive an EV?

The license to drive an EV is the same as you would get for an automatic ICE car as there is no specific electric car licence.

You can still drive an EV with a manual licence, but you can also do so with an automatic licence.

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