Ford is challenging Britain’s smallest town Fordwich to switch to electric after a recent survey found those in small towns don’t feel confident with electric vehicles.
New research revealed that a large majority of those in the countryside (82%), small towns (79%) and villages (76%) would not feel confident purchasing an electric vehicle if the ban on petrol and diesel cars came in next week.
From 21st May until 23rd May, all 380 residents of the aptly named Fordwich will be some of the first to try out the new all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E as they take part in a three-day mass test drive around the Kent countryside.
Other findings from the research, taken from Ford’s Go Electric consumer sentiment report, reveal a considerable lack of confidence and information on EVs, particularly in rural areas and small towns such as Fordwich. Just 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. Charging is frequently cited as a critical concern and barrier to EVs, with those in small towns (63%) and the countryside (74%) saying that there aren’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. Over the next few days, we want to show how even the smallest town can make the electric switch.”
Philip Lewis, local councillor and Mayor of Fordwich, added: “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 over the next few days 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.”