As technological advancements occur, electric cars have started to replace traditional cars in small towns and modern cities alike. In most states across the globe, it is not uncommon to find a charging station at different spots for electric cars. If you are considering investing in an electric car, the most important thing you need to remember is whether or not you need a license to drive an electric car.
Can You Drive an Electric Car Without a License?
The world is changing, and it is not surprising that we live in an extremely advanced society today. Despite all the advancements, there are still some limitations that humans have to face. One of them is needing a license if you want to drive an electric car.
This is because driving an electric car is not entirely different from driving a regular car. Both types of cars have similar operations and parts and can be a risk to you, as well as those around you. Moreover, the brake systems, suspension, and acceleration in non-electric cars are similar to those in electric cars.
Moreover, you are not restricted if you drive an electric car; you can drive on freeways, public roads, highways, and any other public roads. Just like any other traditional car, parking is the same for electric vehicles as they do not require a special, designated space.
Due to these reasons, it is essential that you have a driver’s license if you are thinking about investing in and driving an electric car. When it comes to driving an electric car in the United States and the United Kingdom, you do not need any special license.
Of course, some countries have extra requirements. For example, citizens living in the US can only drive an electric car if they have reached the legal driving age set by the law, if they have the correct license, and if they have sufficient car insurance.
If the individual checks all these boxes, they can drive their electric car down the road without worrying about breaking any law.
However, if you do not have your license yet and want to invest in an electric car, make sure to follow all the guidelines and make sure that you actually get to drive your beautiful car.
Read How to Select Battery for Electric Car?
Is There Any Electric Vehicle You Can Drive Without a License?
As mentioned previously, you cannot drive an electric car without a license. If you want to drive something on public roads with a motor in it, you need to have a license as per the laws in the US.
So, even if you want to drive a golf cart on public roads, you need a license to do that. If you want to drive your electric car on private communities, campuses, farms, or private property, you can do so without a license.
Now, we have some good news for you – there is an electric car that you can drive without requiring a license. Don’t worry; it is completely safe and legal, and we promise that you will not get into trouble with the authorities. This car is called the Ami, and you can use it without a license!
The cheapest electric car to exist, Ami One, is so small that it falls into the category of golf carts and e-scooters. If you want to drive this car across public streets, freeways, or anywhere around the neighborhood but do not yet have a license; you can completely do so without being worried about any legal trouble.
Read How to charge electric car at apartment
Everything You Need to Know About Ami One
One look at the Ami One, and you’ll be left super confused- is this really an electric car, or is someone playing a joke on you? Well, you’re not the only one to have this reaction.
Advertising Ami One as a “car” might seem exaggerated, but there is no denying that it is a vehicle that provides the utmost convenience when you want to go from one place to another and do not have a license.
After all, nothing is better than having the mobility and freedom of making your own decisions while practicing safety, correct?
However, Ami One is a different type of car. You do not need to buy it to use it. All you have to do is use an application called “Free2Move” to gain access to a QR code, after which you can “unlock” the car. You can use the car as long as you pay a fee for the amount of time you are driving it. The current rate is 31 cents for every minute that you use Ami One.
In case you want to invest in Ami One and buy it for your personal use, you will have to pay an amount of $7250 upfront. You can also choose an installment plan based on how much you can afford and how you want to make the payment.
Initially, this installment plan was adopted in France, and slowly, it spread to other countries.
Read How far can an electric car go on one charge?
How do Microcars Differ from the Ami One?
In the United States, some electric vehicles are legal and can be driven on the street, but the way they are built can be frustrating. The Ami One is a car that falls into this category but finding it in the US is rare. In America, such cars are known as neighborhood electric vehicles or NEVs.
Neighborhood Electric Vehicles are electric vehicles that are battery operated. They are built in a way so that their maximum speed is only 25 miles per hour. Every state has a different law regarding the use of such vehicles but usually, they can only be used on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph.
This means that such vehicles cannot legally be driven on highways and freeways. Apart from the speed limitation, these vehicles do not come with airbags either, so they should not be driven on any public road where other vehicles drive at full speed.
Are these the kind of vehicles that individuals who do not have a license have been wanting for so many years? Currently, the best NEV is from GEM, which has sold 50,000 units since it was produced in 1998.
Another popular NEV is Renault which comes with a Twizy heavy quadricycle. However, in most of the states in the US, this vehicle can only be driven by those who have a license.
Moreover, this vehicle also needs to be titled as well as registered. States like New York have created extra requirements for citizens to use this vehicle, such as windshield wipers, a backup light option, and an odometer.
Hence, before investing in any vehicle, make sure to check the federal laws. Requirements may differ from state to state.
Read What Companies Make Electric Car Charging Stations
Do You Need a Special License to Drive an Electric Car?
Even though an electric car might look like a regular car, this does not mean that they have similar functions. The parts, as well as the usage of the car, are completely different. Moreover, they come with one major addition – electric cars need to be charged.
Even though electric cars have a number of additions, making them different from traditional cars, you do not need a special license to be able to drive them. All you need is a normal license that will allow you to take the car on the road while keeping yourself and those around you safe.
It doesn’t matter whether your vehicle uses diesel, steam power, gasoline, or electricity. It can be a battery-only, piston engine, plug-in hybrid, or steam engine.
Regardless of the kind of vehicle you are driving, all you need is a standard license that will allow you to use it in public areas and different parking spots around the country.
It must be kept in mind that when it comes to using an electric bike, a few states in the US might require specific testing.
However, everything is always changing, and there is no way to predict that things will stay the same forever. Even though there are fewer chances of electric vehicles allowing one to drive without a license, maybe license requirements could change, and states could change their minds.
Based on how electric cars are evolving and their practicality and specs, we would not be surprised if the authorities announce that a special examination will be taken before allowing users to drive an electric vehicle. This exam could be either practical or theory-based; who knows?
In fact, you can give your driving test in an electric car in the United Kingdom. However, this would fall in the automatic test, and once you get your license, you would only be able to drive vehicles that have an automatic gear.
Read How Much Time Does It Take to Charge a Tesla
Will You Ever Be Able to Drive an Electric Car Without a License?
Based on the situation, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to drive a Nissan Leaf or Tesla without needing a license. The only way you can drive a vehicle without a license is by using one technology – autonomous driving technology.
According to the producers who have made Tesla, bold claims have been made about a feature called Auto Pilot, which is essentially the autonomous driving technology feature that would allow individuals to drive the car without needing a license.
However, there has been some criticism over Tesla’s features because the company has not issued an official warning on its website that this feature is only for assistance purposes. This can be seen as misleading the public as the car requires the driver to always be in the car. Not just that, but the driver also needs to be alert at all times.
However, in the future, if Tesla manages to make automation a reality, mainly “Level 5 Automation,” then there is a possibility that license-free driving can become a reality.
However, there is no way to really predict the kind of laws that will come with this technology as it solely depends on how safe the driver is when using it and how far people around are.
Here are the different levels when it comes to automation:
- Level 1 requires driver assistance
- Level 2 allows partial automation
- Level 3 allows conditional automation
- Level 4 allows high automation
- Level 5 allows complete automation
It must be kept in mind that even if electric cars can reach level 4, human intervention is still necessary. While level 4 means that 99 percent of the driving will be done by the car itself, there is still a 1 percent chance of accidents which means that the driver must always stay alert. Hence, even if electric cars are built at level 4, the need for a license will still arise.
If cars can reach level 5, there is always a chance of the system failing and the car switching to driver mode. In that case, if you do not have a license, will you be able to take the car home?
These situations happen suddenly, so there is no way to predict any circumstance. If the driver has a license, he can deal with any problem thrown at him. However, without one, he puts himself and those around him at risk.
This article has gone over whether you can drive an electric car without a license and provided you with options in case you want to invest in an electric vehicle without applying for a license.
To clarify, you cannot drive an electric car without a license. This would be a crime, and you would put yourself and those around you at risk.
It does not matter whether Tesla markets the Auto Pilot mode as a piece of advanced technology or if other electric vehicles have the exact functions, breaks, and accelerations as traditional cars- the chances of you being allowed on the road without a license are extremely thin.
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.