Colin-on-Cars – Electric kids

As an old-school petrolhead (some would say dinosaur!) I firmly believe new drivers should be given lessons in a manual car with no ‘nanny’ systems operational so they learn the forces at work on the vehicle under acceleration, braking and cornering – in other words, learn to DRIVE!

However, 4-in-10 parents in the UK would already prefer their children to jump straight into a fully electric vehicle and skip petrol and diesel car driving when learning to drive, yet nearly a third believe it will be harder to learn to drive in one and own one, according to new research by Peugeot UK.  

Following the study, Peugeot took a group of 10 -16-year-olds to a closed circuit to showcase how simple learning to drive and owning an electric car is.

The research, carried out by Peugeot UK, found 40% of parents would like to see their children learn to drive in an electric car, while a quarter of parents admit their children regularly pester them about switching from their diesel or petrol car to an electric vehicle*.

Highlighting the rapidly growing trend among both parents and future drivers towards electrification, the research also comes after a record sales month for electric vehicles in the UK, with more than 32 000 fully electric cars registered in September 2021 alone.

While the lower running costs and environmental benefits of electric vehicles are well understood, Peugeot’s research also found 28% of respondents believe learning to drive an electric car and owning one would be more difficult compared to a standard petrol or diesel model.

To showcase just how simple EV driving, and ownership is, Peugeot provided a class of 10 – 16-year-olds with a driving lesson at Bedford Autodrome, with dedicated tutorials run by professional drivers on how to live with and own an electric car. Sat behind the wheel of the Peugeot e-208, the young drivers were first taught basic manoeuvres, such as starting, stopping and parking, along with essential elements of EV ownership, such as how to conserve your miles, charging your car, and switching between driving modes.

Julie David, Managing Director of Peugeot UK, said: “Our new research highlights how more people across the UK are seeing the positives of electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and it is important that future generations are aware of the benefits that come with owning an EV.

“Our day with the young drivers has demonstrated how accessible electric vehicles can be for anyone thinking about their next car. We hope they enjoyed their time with us and found it to be a useful insight into the world of EVs.”

Following the young drivers’ lesson, the children went head-to-head against their parent in an EV challenge to see who could conserve the most miles over a set route. Driving six laps of the course, covering over three miles, the young drivers utilised all the skills they had learnt about electric driving to come out on top, conserving twice as many miles as their parents.

The Peugeot e-208 features a 50 kWh battery connected to a 100 kW electric motor. Capable of up to 340 kilometres from a single charge (WLTP), the e-208 also supports up to 100 kW rapid charging with up to 80% charge taking just 30 minutes.

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