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Death of the manual gearbox?

Rise in EVs leads to upturn in automatic-only driving lessons


The growing number of electric vehicles coming on to the UK’s roads is leading to a change in young motorists’ future driving ambitions.

New research shows that the ‘green march’ of EVs is massively influencing driving attitudes of young people aged 17-24. More than 60% of 1,000 young drivers questioned by road safety charity IAM Roadsmart said they plan to apply for an automatic-only driving licence.

The ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030 and the absence of manual gearboxes in electric vehicles, has led to the huge swing towards gearstick-less training and driving, while also translating into a new wave of expected buying behaviour.

More than 80% of respondents said they were likely to buy an electric vehicle as their next car.  Only a very small number (5%) declared they were very unlikely to purchase an EV.

The acceptance of electric vehicles has charged ahead so much that 70% of the young people questioned believes that they are easier to charge, compared with filling a traditional fuel tank, saying it’s similar to topping up a smartphone or tablet.

“Our research highlights how young people are being proactive, not reactive, to climate issues and the changes to the automotive industry set to come by 2030, which is great to see,” says Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“What these figures demonstrate is that the traditional split between manual and automatic driving licences is becoming less and less relevant to modern motoring.  It’s time that this artificial distinction was ditched as part of an overall review of learning to drive that prioritises experience in all traffic conditions over the type of gearbox you have.”

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Tom Johnston
Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.
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