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More than a dozen Illinois schools add EVs to driver’s ed » Yale Climate Connections

Teenagers at some Illinois high schools are now taking driver’s education classes in electric cars.

Mitchell: “EVs are the future. I mean, it’s something we can get these kids ready to use.”

Gregg Mitchell is the driver’s ed director at Lane Tech College Prep, a public high school in Chicago.

The school recently added an EV to its fleet of cars, using a grant from ComEd, the local electric utility.

The utility’s EVs for Education program has allowed more than a dozen schools to buy electric cars and chargers for their driver’s ed programs over the past few years.

Mitchell says driving an electric car is not that different than driving a gas-powered car, so the students generally learn the same basic skills.

But the electric cars do save him time on maintenance.

Mitchell: “On Fridays, I’m running back and forth to gas up all the cars at the fleet station, whereas right now, I can plug in the EVs and that’s it. They’re here and they’re good to go.”

When it comes to teenagers and cars, some things will never change.

Mitchell: “I think 16-year-olds are happy to drive any car when they get it.”

But as the country transitions away from fossil fuels, this program helps students feel comfortable and prepared to drive electric vehicles.

Reporting Credit: Ethan Freedman / ChavoBart Digital Media

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