First Electric Car Slated for Driver’s Ed

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Peugeot EV for Driving SchoolOne of the emerging target groups for electric vehicles is new drivers. Over the summer, for example, an EV company in Japan donated a number of plasma screens to driving schools specifically to advertise their product (seems legit, right?). Peugeot is going for this segment, too – only instead of advertising, they’re providing EVs as practice vehicles.

Technically, Peugeot is providing a single electric vehicle – an i0n – to the Saarland Association of Driving Instructors. The EV is meant to be used for instructional and learning purposes only. Its 93-mile range is more than sufficient to give students practice (how far did you go during driving school? Not that far).

The i0n also has a 49kW/67HP electric motor and can hit speeds of 80mph – which is way faster than I was ever allowed to go (the instructor jammed down on the brake pedal from the passenger seat every time I got above 40 – true story).

Don’t Worry, They Won’t Crash

The downside to using the i0n as a teaching tool is the same downside that most electric cars have – the six-hour charging time limits the amount of time it can be used during business hours. It does have the requisite safety features, in case an overzealous student misjudges something and wrecks it entirely – six airbags, child seat mountings in the back, electronic stability control with traction control, and emergency brake assist.

Peugeot hopes to familiarize new drivers with electric cars, which are uniquely suited for driving in the city and for short-distance commuters. The company also hopes to familiarize the instructors with the EV – familiarity breeds affinity, after all. If an electric car isn’t some nebulous new device, people are more likely to buy. Right?

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