While the launch of a fully electric Ford Explorer in North America has been pushed back to mid-decade, the automaker today unveiled one for Europe.
This new battery-powered SUV is the result of a partnership between Ford and Volkswagen, with the latter supplying its MEB platform. It will go on sale across the pond later in 2023 starting at 45,000 euros.
The size, silhouette and styling elements mark a radical departure from the gasoline-burning Explorer we’ve known for many years. Lower and shorter (at 4.5 meters long it’s even shorter than the Escape), with smoother lines and cleaner surfaces, the electric Explorer’s grille-less front fascia is shaped in the mold of typical EVs. The design of the C-pillars is rather unique, just like the available 19- and 21-inch alloy wheels.
The interior somewhat reminds us of the Mustang Mach-E, what with the wide digital instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel and the large, portrait-style touchscreen in the middle of the cabin. The latter is similarly sized at 15 inches, though much more tilted forward and able to slide up and down to reveal a storage compartment. A sound bar with ambient lighting is mounted atop the dashboard.
There are two rows of seats instead of three, while the cargo area in the back can accommodate around 470 liters of gear based on European measurements.
Other than the ability to fast charge from 10-80 percent in just 25 minutes, technical specifications such as power and range remain unknown at this point. Similar to the Volkswagen ID.4, this electric Explorer will likely offer two different batteries (62 kWh and 82 kWh). We know for sure that customers will have the choice between RWD and AWD.
Production is set to take place in Cologne, Germany. As mentioned up top, there are no plans to sell the vehicle beyond Europe. A larger model is expected to follow next year.
Unless Ford changes its mind again, production of the Explorer EV (and Lincoln Aviator EV) on our side of the Atlantic will begin in late 2024. Where exactly? That remains to be confirmed.
The Oakville, Ont. factory that currently builds the Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus will soon be retooled and upgraded to build five electric Ford and Lincoln models between 2025 and 2028. This will require an investment of $1.8 billion, with $295 million in support from the Canadian government.