Hull teen is first to take driving test in electric car
A TEENAGER from Hull has become the first in the UK to take a driving test in an electric car.
Navdeep Singh Pandher, 18, passed his exam with flying colours in a Vauxhall Ampera on Saturday.
The teenager, who lives off Anlaby Road in west Hull, was determined to pass first time so he can help his ill mother get around.
Proud mum Gurbender Kaur was waiting for Navdeep when he finished his driving test – giving him a hug and kiss when he gave her the thumbs up.
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Navdeep, who is a computer science student at the University of Hull, said: "I was so nervous beforehand, but I became more relaxed as the test went on.
"Now I've passed, I'll be using my mum's car to drive her around and get to university.
"One of the main reasons I started driving was to help my mum."
Gurbender has a crack in her spine, a tumour in her leg and suffers from heart problems, diabetes and asthma.
Her condition is deteriorating and, although she can still drive herself, she thinks it won't be too long before she will be relying on Navdeep.
She said: "I am very proud of Navdeep, he is such a good lad.
"He gets straight As in his education and passed his theory test first time as well.
"He has done me proud."
Navdeep took the standard driving test in an automatic car, which will allow him to drive his mother's vehicle.
But he now plans to do another test to allow him to drive manual cars as well.
During the test, Navdeep only got two minor faults.
He was taught by Anthony Fuller, of Red Driving School.
Anthony said: "An electric car feels a lot different to an unleaded or diesel car.
"It is very smooth and very quiet – the biggest thing people notice is the lack of noise, the engine is totally silent.
"Navdeep did very well in his test, but I was very confident in him beforehand.
"He is extremely mature for his years and drives like it, too.
"When I teach people to drive, especially young men, they tend to have an issue with speed.
"Navdeep doesn't have that kind of personality about him – he sees problems and takes them on board.
"He is a very careful driver."
The Vauxhall Ampera was the UK's first long-distance electric car.
It was launched in September – just a few weeks before Navdeep was invited to take his test in it.
The teenager had been learning in a manual unleaded car, but leapt at the chance to be the first in the UK to pass his test in an electric.
Mr Fuller said: "Red Driving School approached me to see if I would instruct someone in the electric car and I thought of Navdeep straight away.
"He was my number one choice as he is a very good driver.
"I had no doubts he would pass first time."