Ford’s first all-electric Explorer rolls off assembly as new sport EV crossover debut looms

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As Ford’s first all-electric Explorer rolls off the production line at its new Cologne EV facility, the company is already looking toward its second EV. Ford will reveal its new sports EV crossover soon ahead of production later this year.

Ford unveiled its electric Explorer last March, converting the iconic SUV into an EV built for the modern era.

The Explorer EV is a five-seat family SUV aimed at the European market. Ford combined classic American design with superior German engineering to create the fully electric mid-size SUV.

Ford’s all-electric Explorer is based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, the same one used for the ID.4. It’s the first of a 2020 partnership to revamp the Ford brand in the region. With 470 liters of storage and a massive 15″ movable touchscreen (with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support), Ford’s new electric SUV is built for family trips.

The Explorer EV can also fast charge from 10% to 80% in about 25 minutes, allowing you to get back on the road quickly.

Although production was expected to begin before the end of 2023, Ford delayed it last summer to meet new global safety rules.

Ford's-first-all-electric-Explorer
Ford electric Explorer production (Source: Ford)

Ford’s first all-electric Explorer rolls out of assembly

After re-engineering the new EV with an updated NMC battery, Ford’s electric Explorer is ready to roll out.

Ford announced it started mass production Tuesday at its new dedicated Cologne EV center. The first model to come off the assembly line is Ford’s new all-electric Explorer.

Ford's-first-all-electric-Explorer
Ford Electric Explorer (Source: Ford)

The Explorer EV is “a better vehicle now than we would have launched half a year ago,” according to Martin Sander, head of Ford’s Europe EV unit. The extra time was used to “get everything nailed down,” Sander explained, “to make sure that we’re delivering a perfect vehicle to our customers.

With a new battery, the electric Explorer can drive over 374 miles (600 km) on a single charge. Kieran Cahill, VP of manufacturing for Ford Europe, said the start of production (SOP) “marks the beginning of a new era for Ford in Europe.”

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Ford Electric Explorer interior (Source: Ford)

Ford’s electric Explorer is available in a single-motor RWD and a dual-motor AWD version in Europe.

The single-motor model starts at £45,875 ($58,000), fitted with a 77 kWh battery. Ford’s dual-motor Explorer packs VW’s 335 hp powertrain (used for its sporty GTX models) and a 79 kWh battery. Both are equipped with an extended-range NMC battery.

Ford says a standard-range NMC battery will be available at a later date. Prices are expected to start at around £39,875 ($50,000).

Ford's-first-all-electric-Explorer
Ford Electric Explorer production (Source: Ford)

The electric Explorer was the first to roll off the assembly line in Cologne, but Ford is already planning its second EV in the region.

Ford said a new sports EV crossover will be revealed shortly ahead of the SOP later this year. After the new EV was spotted testing late last year by Auto Express, the new EV is expected to be an electric Ford Capri. Check back for more on Ford’s new EV soon.

Electrek’s Take

Although Ford’s new Explorer EV is aimed at Europe, the automaker may be missing an opportunity on its home turf.

Larger electric SUVs are selling. For example, Kia had its second best-ever sales month in May in the US as its new three-row EV9 electric SUV gained traction. Kia has sold 7,766 EV9 models through the first five months of the year, nearly topping its first dedicated EV, the EV6, with 8,770 models sold.

Rivian’s R1S was the fourth best-selling EV in the first quarter with a 2.9% market share, just below Ford’s Mustang Mach-E with a 3.5% share.

However, the R1S starts at $74,900 while the Mach-E starts at nearly half that at $39,995. Despite this, Ford is delaying its larger electric SUV in the US as it shifts to smaller, more affordable EVs.

Ford’s CEO Jim Farley doubled down on smaller EVs this week. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Farley said Ford wants to compete with the best. Right now, Ford believes the biggest threat is from Chinese automakers like BYD.

What do you guys think? Would you buy an electric Explorer in the US? Or is Ford right? Smaller EVs are the way to go. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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