20 July 2017
One third of drivers (32%) say they want to start learning to drive again – but drive in an electric car, according at an AA-Populus survey of 16,239 drivers.
The AA Trust has launched the first ever Drive Electric course, free of charge and specifically geared to those who want to get the best out of driving electric vehicles (EVs).
The announcement was made by Edmund King OBE, Chairman of the AA Trust at the launch of the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre (EVEC) in Milton Keynes on 20 July 2017.
Drivers were asked: To what extent would you be interested in a free one-hour electric vehicle driving lesson – aimed to show you how to get the best out if an EV – in your local area?
- Overall 32% were interested (16% extremely interested)
- 35% of younger drivers (18-24, 25-34) were interested compared with 31% of older drivers (65+)
- Drivers in London were the most interested (35%)
- Drivers in the North East were the least interested (26%)
AA Driving School and Drive Tech trainers have developed the Drive Electric experience in conjunction with Chargemaster, the UK’s leading provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
It will be piloted in the Milton Keynes area with a view to be rolled out nationally.
Edmund King, AA Trust Chairman, said: “We are approaching a tipping point as more and better electric cars come on stream.
“We want to help drivers understand this exciting new technology at the EV Experience Centre but we also want to help them get the most out of their electric cars.
We want to help drivers understand this exciting new technology at the EV Experience Centre but we also want to help them get the most out of their electric cars
“Drive Electric sessions, conducted by AA instructors, can either be carried out in the driver’s own electric car, or in one of the EV Experience Centre’s test drive fleet. The EV Experience and Drive Electric experiences will really put Milton Keynes on the map as the most go-to EV City in the World.”
A European first
The Electric Vehicle Experience Centre is a European first. A high profile multi-brand electric vehicle shop unit in a major regional shopping centre (The Centre:MK), which attracts annual visitors of 27 million a year, which will promote the significant uptake of electric vehicles.
The target is to demonstrate how the uptake of EVs can be enhanced by availability of the highest quality consumer education and demonstration of EVs. The ambitious goal is to increase the uptake of EVs in the Milton Keynes area so that within the next five years, electric cars account for around a quarter of all local car sales.
Talk to a team of EV Gurus
The Milton Keynes Electric Vehicle Experience Centre gives consumers the opportunity to talk to a team of highly-trained electric vehicle experts (‘EV Gurus’) seven days a week. The Gurus will discuss the benefits of electric vehicle ownership, the available vehicle choices, how to charge an EV, the savings in running costs and then offer a brief test drive in one of the electric vehicles parked a few steps away from the EVEC.
The EVEC has a fleet of over 50 electric vehicles available for short test drives or longer term ‘try before you buy’ hire experiences. The EVEC is operated by Chargemaster and is supported by six car manufacturers; Milton Keynes Council; the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), OVO Energy and the AA Trust.
David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, said: “The number of electric vehicles in the UK is continuing to grow, and we recently marked the 100,000th plug-in car registration in the UK.
The Drive Electric experience sessions from the AA Trust will be a great way to help consumers better understand electric vehicles and how easy they are to live with and how to get the best out of them when driving
“To get more people driving electric vehicles, getting them behind the wheel is key. The EV Experience Centre aims to do exactly that, and the Drive Electric experience sessions from the AA Trust will be a great way to help consumers better understand electric vehicles and how easy they are to live with and how to get the best out of them when driving.”
About the Drive Electric experience
The AA, Chargemaster and Drive Tech have developed this valuable session to introduce participants to electric cars; driving techniques and how to obtain the best and most economical performance from them. It includes:
- Checking how to connect and disconnect to a charge point; introduction to controls, energy consumption displays, charge rate and range; eco features including ‘B’ and ‘Eco’ modes and remote climate control
- On the road driving techniques; early release of accelerator, using regenerative braking; how to most economical use of available energy; feedback from multi-function display
- Overcoming range anxiety; finding suitable charge points and how to use them; long journey planning; different types of charging point
- Safe driving including compliance of rules of the road and hints at reducing energy consumption
Bookings for a session, which is free-of-charge, should be made through the Milton Keynes Electric Vehicle Experience Centre.
We offer electric car breakdown cover - our trained experts are on hand to help you at the roadside if you break down.
Picture shows(l-r): Roads Minister Jessie Norman MP, Chargemaster CEO David Martell, and AA president Edmund King at the launch of the Milton Keynes Electric Vehicle Experience Centre