The Spanish Ministry of the Interior is planning to lower the driving licence age for certain types of electric vehicles as a way of promoting sustainable mobility. Teenagers, from 16 years old, will be able to obtain the new B1 licence, which will allow them to drive electric cars with a maximum weight of 400 kg (excluding the battery) and at a speed limit of 90 km/h. The new B1 driving license regulation is expected to come into force in 2023.
The aim of the measure is to boost the popularity of greener vehicles and encourage sustainable mobility amongst the younger generation. As of today, teenagers - who are not yet 18 - are only allowed to drive 125cc mopeds at a maximum speed of 45km/h with a Spanish A1 licence (for 16 year olds), or lighter and less powerful quadricycles with an AM license (15 year olds). At the age of 18, drivers can obtain a B2 licence, which gives them the right to drive regular cars.
The launch of the new B1 driving licence is part of the recently approved Spanish Road Safety Strategy 2020-2030 of the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) and the Ministry of Interior. This type of driving licence "has already been implemented in other European countries, such as France, showing encouraging results and will boost sustainable mobility among young people in rural areas", where despite all possible efforts and investments "public transport is not available to the same extent as in urban areas”, said the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
In order to obtain the new B1 driving licence, teenagers will have to pass a theory exam similar to the one that it is now mandatory to obtain for a B2 licence. This initiative, according to the Spanish Institute of National Statistics, could benefit around 1 million 16 and 17-year-olds.
Nevertheless, the new driving licence proposal still needs some refinements. As an example, it still needs to be clarified whether young drivers will be allowed to travel by electric car on all roads, especially given the speed limit of 90km/h.
For more information see the Spanish Ministry of the Interior and the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT) website.
Original article published by TheMayor.eu on 10 June 2022.
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