Daimler is using EVs and ridesharing to teach teen drivers

The days of learning to drive in your family's ancient sedan might soon be over. Daimler is running a pilot program that teaches German teens to get around using electric versions of the Mercedes B-Class and Smart Fortwo. According to the company, an EV's smooth automatic transmission lets students focus on the traffic around them, not the basics of getting from A to B. They only move on to gas-powered cars when they're ready to master stick shifting.

Young drivers will have an incentive to practice their skills once they get their license, too. The trial lets those over 18 sign up for Car2go's ridesharing service for free, with 100 minutes of driving included. Ideally, this eliminates the risk that they'll wreck a parent's car while they're still new to the road. Here's hoping that this combination of EVs and hired cars catches on elsewhere -- it could give rookies (not to mention nearby drivers) a lot more confidence.