Research by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, has revealed how the ‘green agenda’ is radically influencing the driving attitudes of young people aged 17-24.
The ban of new petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030, and the absence of manual gearboxes in electric vehicles, has prompted 61% of the 1,000 young drivers surveyed to tell IAM RoadSmart that they plan to apply for an automatic-only driving licence.
The green agenda is also translating into expected buying behaviours, as 81% of respondents stated they were likely to purchase an electric vehicle as their next car. Only a very small number (5%) declared they were very unlikely to purchase an electric vehicle.
Acceptance of electric vehicles has charged ahead so much, in fact, that 70% of young people believed that electric vehicles are simpler to charge, compared to filling a traditional fuel tank, citing similarities to charging a smart phone or tablet as well as safety concerns.
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, commented: “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.
“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.
“Until things change however, young people need to be aware that manual driving licences will always open up a wider range of job opportunities for them, particularly as the country recovers from the pandemic.”