Drawing on the maxim “electric mobility is something you can learn”, Daimler AG and the ACADEMY Holding AG are launching a pilot project with five selected ACADEMY driving schools in the wider Stuttgart area, with the aim of making electric vehicles an integral part of driver training.
Kick-off for the project will be on April 10 at the Mercedes-Benz sales and service outlet in Stuttgart, in the presence of the Mayor of Stuttgart, Fritz Kuhn. Driving instructors, educational experts and business representatives will discuss the issue of “Electric mobility in driving schools in the context of current driving licence regulations”.
From April, the driving schools will be offering learner drivers a simple and timely introduction to today’s world of locally emission-free mobility. The specially developed training concept is unparalleled in the way it tackles every aspect of electric mobility, focusing as it does on gaining familiarity and experience, as well as on the correct way to handle and work with alternative drive systems. The aim of the initiative is to integrate electric vehicles into the driver training process and so to generate enthusiasm for electric mobility, particularly among young people.
The initiative is also designed to make the first experience of driving significantly easier for learners. Instead of spending their first driving lessons having to concentrate on the gear changes in a manual vehicle, they will begin with an electric vehicle – thanks to its automatic transmission there is no need to use the clutch or change gear, allowing learner drivers to focus on what’s important: the traffic. Once they have acquired a certain level of routine in their driving, they continue learning on a manual vehicle with a combustion engine. By taking this approach, learner drivers are able to qualify with a full Class B or BF17 passenger car driving licence and, in addition, receive the eDriverLicence.
The theoretical elements relating to alternative drive systems and mobility concepts will be integrated as a double lesson into the theory training and will cover the principles of alternatively powered vehicles as well as information about mobility services. Issues such as charging time, range, acceleration characteristics, recuperation and the awareness of the silent electric vehicles for other road users’ will be addressed here.
The eDriverLicence instruction element adds the topic of electric mobility as a complement to the basic driver training to achieve the class B and BF17 licence. Once they have passed their eDriverLicence driving test, young drivers over the age of 18 are immediately able to use the car2go service and drive electric. They can register straight away with car2go – and without incurring registration charges. On top of this, they receive a one-off gift of 100 free minutes.
A further eDriverLicence offer for “old hands” allows anyone with a valid driving licence who is interested to take the eDriverLicence test – with professional instruction from the driving schools participating in the pilot project. The course includes two driving lessons and a double theory lesson. These course participants, too, can take advantage of a one-off gift of 100 free minutes with car2go, without a registration fee.
A total of ten electric vehicles equipped for tuition purposes have been provided by Daimler AG at a monthly rate to five selected ACADEMY driving schools in the wider Stuttgart area. Each driving school will get one smart fortwo electric drive and one Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. As well as the vehicles themselves, each driving school participating in the pilot project has been equipped with a charging station (wallbox) to allow fast recharging.
The ACADEMY Holding AG is an important industry partner in the driving school sector in Germany. The ACADEMY driving schools, representatives of a successful franchise system, form the largest group of independent driving schools in the Federal Republic. The broad scope of services offered by the ACADEMY group of companies includes the training and further professional development of driving instructors through to business consultancy and factoring services for driving schools.
The project is headed up by the Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy. The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy makes new drivers fit for driving. Launched in 2009 as a pilot project in London, the driving school concept has so far been successfully established in various countries across three continents. Within this network of driving schools, the only one so far to be established by a motor manufacturer, highly qualified driving instructors are currently teaching learner drivers in Europe, North America and Asia.