Ford of Britain has challenged the population of Fordwich, Britain’s smallest town, to switch to electric in the new, all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. New research conducted in March showed that – if the ban on petrol and diesel cars came in next week – a majority of those in the countryside (82%), small towns (79%) and villages (76%) wouldn’t feel confident purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) as their next set of wheels.
Over the weekend, all 380 residents of the aptly named Fordwich had the opportunity to be some of the first to try out the new Mustang Mach-E, as part of a unique three-day, mass test-drive around the Kent countryside.
Other findings from the research, taken from Ford’s Go Electric consumer sentiment report, revealed a lack of confidence and information on electric vehicles, particularly in rural areas and small towns, such as Fordwich. 55% of those living in small towns, villages and the countryside felt they had enough information to make an informed decision about buying an EV, compared with 85% of those living in cities, urban areas and large towns.
To encourage Fordwich residents to make the switch to electric in the long term, Ford has also partnered with British Gas to install a public charging point in the town – at The Fordwich Arms, a local gastropub. Charging is frequently cited as a critical concern, with those in small towns (63%) and the countryside (74%) saying that there weren’t enough charging points.
Lisa Brankin, Managing Director of Ford of Britain and Ireland, said:
“We are incredibly excited to introduce our all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E. Ford is committed to helping our current and future customers to go all-in on the road to a fully electric future by supporting them on that journey.
“We want to show how even the smallest town can make the electric switch!”
Philip Lewis, Local Councillor and Mayor of Fordwich, commented:
“What a fantastic way to get people to try out an electric vehicle. We are so proud of our town and preservation is something that is incredibly important to us so we were keen to see how simple it would be to switch over to a more environmentally friendly vehicle.
“It’s great to see so many people signed up,” he added, “and we are thrilled to have a local charging point installed for long term public use.”
Lauren Vazquez, EV installation engineer at British Gas, added:
“British Gas is committed to delivering the infrastructure needed for the electrification of all modes of transport. We know that it’s vital that we enable the switch to electric vehicles as quickly as possible and we will continue to work with our partners such as Ford to make this happen all over the UK.”