Imagine if you and everyone in your town or city were given the keys to a new electric SUV over three days. That’s exactly what Ford has done in the United Kingdom, offering every resident in aptly-named Fordwich a Mustang Mach-E for a mass test drive around the countryside.

No, the Blue Oval hasn’t suddenly gone mental and done a massive Oprah-style giveaway. The company could afford to be this generous because the Kent village is officially Britain’s smallest town, with a population of just 380. Ford’s reasoning? A study showed that a large majority of people in the countryside (82%), small towns (79%) and villages (76%) wouldn’t feel confident buying an electric vehicle as their next car even if the country banned all petrol and diesel cars next week.

Other findings from the research include a significant lack of confidence and information on EVs, particularly in rural areas and small towns like Fordwich. Ford’s Go Electric consumer sentiment report states that just 55% of those living in small towns, villages and the countryside felt they were informed enough to buy an EV, compared to 85% of those in cities, urban areas and large towns.

Charging is another issue frequently cited as critical, with small town (63%) and countryside (74%) residents saying there aren’t enough charging points where they live.

The test, then, is a way for the company to inspire confidence in electric cars by having rural residents try the Mustang Mach-E for themselves. As an added bonus, Ford and British Gas have installed a public charging point in Fordwich, and this being a typical British town, it’s been placed at the local watering hole – The Fordwich Arms gastropub, to be precise.

“We are incredibly excited to introduce our all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E,” said Ford of Britain and Ireland managing director Lisa Brankin. “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!”

Fordwich local councillor and mayor Phillip Lewis 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.”