LEARNER drivers are benefitting from a super-charged green incentive funded by Highways England that allows businesses to try electric vehicles for free before they buy.
Coventry-based Smart Learner Driving School is just one of several businesses taking advantage of the £2.3million scheme, designed to encourage a shift to cleaner, lower carbon vehicles.
It works by offering the businesses a free trial of electric vehicles for up to two months.
Driving school owner Tommy said: “It’s a fantastic incentive between Highways England and Coventry City Council because it creates a synergy between students learning in an electric vehicle and then going on to purchase one.
“We know from experience that generally whatever vehicle students learn in, they tend to go and purchase either a petrol or a diesel car as it’s familiar to them.
“So, for me it’s about educating the drivers of tomorrow and changing habits so that we don’t live in the past tense anymore.”
Employing 55 instructors, covering Coventry, Warwick and Leamington Spa, Tommy, has been running his business around 15 years.
He said that the opportunity to learn more about electric vehicles had been hugely beneficial for him and his colleagues.
“I’d urge other businesses to take part in the trial because it’s an excellent opportunity to find out more about electric vehicles and to dispel some inaccurate myths around them.
“The future is definitely pointing towards electric cars and I’m excited to be a part of that.”
The scheme has been made possible by Highways England’s Designated Funds programme designed to benefit people, the economy and the planet with an overall investment of £936m between 2020 and 2025.
Coun Jim O’Boyle, the council’s cabinet member responsible for jobs, regeneration and climate change, said: “We already have more electric charging points in Coventry than in any city outside of London.
“As a city we are applying a whole series of approaches to address air quality and climate change and we are always at the front of the queue to apply innovative solutions.”
Visit highwaysengland.co.uk/designated-funds/ to find out more about Highways England designated fund schemes.