A trendy driving license with the Toulouse driving school Wearezero

Taking the wheel of a 100% electric Mini, to get your driving license, is now possible.

One of the first quests for independence for everyone was undoubtedly to obtain a driver’s license. A sesame that tends to become a real obstacle course. This is why professionals are fighting against this situation. What if electric cars were one of the keys to a better start for learning to drive? This is what motivated William Lemaître, manager of William’s driving school. This 45 year old entrepreneur decided to include in his pedagogy, the electric power, with a trendy electric driving license.

Electric driving license: a first in France!

Switching to “100% electric training cars” is almost a 180° turn! Not in professional terms, but in terms of teaching how to drive. I’ve been working in this field for a little over 20 years and it’s really with electric cars that I’ve been able to see a difference in the development of my students’ skills.” This new philosophy has led William to open new dedicated learning centers called “Wearezero”. This is a first in France! Until then, no other company was approved for this type of learning.

We tested the Mini 100% from the driving school Wearezero in Toulouse, with William Lemaître (left).

“We got behind the wheel of a 100% electric driving school Mini!”

Thus, www.testecar.com’s team went to meet one of the first learning centers located in Toulouse, place Saint-Sernin. An electric choice that William Lemaître has made by trusting the brand he has a crush on. “I’ve been driving Minis for more than 15 years. When they came out, I met the dealer in Rodez, BMW Mini Escat, and since then we have been working together”, he explains. But what’s the difference between getting your license on an electric car? “Firstly, it’s a different approach. You have to do 13 hours of compulsory driving and not 20 hours, compared to a license on a car with a mechanical gearbox”, explains William Lemaître. “The electric car takes away the management of the gear change. You don’t slip the clutch anymore. The students’ attention is focused on the notions of driving and respecting the code. It makes them more relaxed”, he says smiling.

Special double crankset

Even more noteworthy is that “learner drivers” touch their first steering wheels on simulators, on multiple screens, which prepare them for real-world driving. “This approach allows candidates to become familiar with driving. When they get behind the wheel of the Mini, it’s a logical follow-up, and the final results are much more positive”, the instructor assures.

Electric, so no more pedal on the left. Here, the right side for the monitor.

Just like the driving license’s candidates, we took the steering wheel of one of these electric Mini in order to better feel all the sensations. It is already necessary to know that the very first car was adapted in Angers, at a preparator specialized in the transformations for cars “driving school”. In this case, the installation of a double crankset. But a particular double crankset, since there is no longer a clutch. “The other cars were modified by a preparer from Toulouse who now has the same skills“, says William Lemaître.

“Driving a Porsche or a Ferrari” with an electric driving license

After a few kilometers in the streets and avenues of the Pink City, we realized how easy it was to drive. With years of driving, it’s amazing, but for novices, it’s very safe. Forget the headaches of starting on a hill, or gauging the clutch with one foot and judging, by eye, if the chosen parking space allows for a successful parking slot. Electricity makes driving easier… But with this license on an electric car, is it possible to drive all types of vehicles? “It is possible to drive a Renault, a Peugeot, as well as a Porsche or a Ferrari,” states William. “As long as the gearbox is automatic!”.

“I will never go back”

“Then, it is possible to drive a car with a mechanical gearbox, by following a 7-hour training course, after three months of driving license”. And are there many drivers who do this? “It’s very rare! When you have had a taste of this type of driving, you very rarely go back to a mechanical gearbox”, specifies the instructor. And when asked about electric cars, the answer is clear. “But I will never go back!” A conviction that has moreover pushed the entrepreneur to open another Wearezero agency very soon, on Avenue Jean-Mermoz in Montpellier. “One in Bordeaux is in preparation and we have plans to open one in Paris”, he concludes. A driving school director and its trendy electric driving license in tune with the electromobility transition that is underway.

Pierre-Jean Côme

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