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The Ford Explorer Is Going Electric

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This is not the Ford Explorer you know. This is something different entirely, in more ways than one. Meet the new Explorer, now running on electricity only for the first time ever and, in an even wilder development, on a Volkswagen platform.

The first of a long-planned collaboration between Ford and VW’s electric MEB architecture has borne fruit in the form of a new, all-electric Explorer, unveiled today and aimed straight at the growing European EV crossover market. To get the important stuff out of the way first: no, it will not be sold in North America and will not replace the Explorer we’ve been driving the past few years here.

The New All Electric Ford Explorer

Instead, it’s part of Ford’s plan to leverage its most iconic nameplates and American-style vehicles as it executes a big pivot in Europe to larger cars and also EVs. Ford plans to go all-electric there by 2030.

“Explorer is the first in a wave of innovative new electric vehicles from Ford and forges the way for a complete reinvention of the Ford brand in Europe,” Ford said in a news release today. “The mid-size crossover has seats for five across two rows and is fully equipped to set families on the road to adventure.”

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The new electric Explorer will be built in Germany and will have the ability to charge from 10 to 80 percent in 25 minutes on a DC fast-charging station; roughly on par with many current rivals. We also know it will be available in two trims, Explorer and Explorer Premium, with a starting price of under 45,000 euros (about $48,500) and can be had in rear- or all-wheel-drive trims.

The New All Electric Ford Explorer

That’s what we do know. Many other details, including its battery size and total range, were not disclosed in today’s release. But we also know that this is one of two vehicles resulting from a long-planned team-up between VW and Ford; the former company had long planned to license its electric MEB platform to other automakers.

The New All Electric Ford Explorer

That was the plan, anyway. Since then Ford has said it will only manufacture two vehicles with VW’s help, opting to focus on its own EV development. In the interim, building the Explorer with MEB guts help Ford get a new EV on the road in Europe, where that segment is rapidly expanding, and to get customers there used to its new direction.

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But let’s assume it has similar specs to a European Volkswagen ID.4, since they share a great deal of commonality. This could mean the Explorer is capable of about 300 miles of range on the European WLTP cycle, which is not bad at all (it has up to 275 miles of range in the U.S.) We won’t know the official range specs until they’re released, however.

The New All Electric Ford Explorer

It’s got a pretty different interior than an ID.4, I’ll give it that. But one thing I do find interesting is that this EV Explorer will use the SYNC Move infotainment system (with a movable tablet screen, no less) and not VW’s proprietary software. Considering the headaches VW has had on that front, it’s probably good news, but also a bit surprising considering how deeply software is embedded in that vehicle.

Overall, it’s an interesting experiment—albeit one with a design that doesn’t really scream “Explorer” to me. And even if it’s a temporary one until Ford can make more of its own EVs fully in-house, it may just get the Blue Oval brand on the path it wants in the Old World.

Bring it over here, or hard pass from us, America?

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SomethingClever
SomethingClever
2 months ago

It looks like a good looking GMC Terrain. But it sounds like it’s built like a Chrysler Crossfire. I can only imagine what it will be like dealing with any repairs or electrical issues down the road on this vehicle.

RickyZeng
RickyZeng
2 months ago

We sacrificed Fiesta AND Focus for this?

Thevenin
Thevenin
2 months ago

An important detail that the pictures don’t convey: this thing is remarkably. 175″l x 73″w x 63″t. It’s smaller than an Edge, Escape, Mach-E, or even an Ioniq 5. It’s about the same as a Kia Niro and only marginally larger than a Focus.

Very, very odd that they’d call it an Explorer.

AdamVIP
AdamVIP
2 months ago

I guess this is one way to keep carbon monoxide out of the cabin.

I like the looks of this. I like that the dumb wheel is gone from the screen too. That middle dash light looks like its going to suck for people in the back seat though. Hopefully they get good range out of it.

Studdley
Studdley
2 months ago

No way in Hell I’d buy the first model year of that time bomb. I don’t think Ford has every successfully launched a new generation of Explorer.

JST
JST
2 months ago

I get that this is based on the VW platform, but what’s the difference in terms of market between this and the Mustang Mach E?

Straight6
Straight6
2 months ago

It is Europe’s version of Quarter pounder and cheese. North America will not likely see it for a long while unless some weirdo French person get one to St Pierre and Miquelon.. so I think we can all just carry on.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
2 months ago

It looks like the RAV4 compliance EV successor

DadBod
DadBod
2 months ago

Cool, Ford designed an electric GMC Terrain

Data
Data
2 months ago

Does the C pillar light up to show charge status from a distance?

Turkina
Turkina
2 months ago

In the US, this would be more like an Edge replacement, right? If not for the current rules in place for EV rebates, I would say bring over all the cars. Sure, it would cut into Mach-E sales, but I think there are plenty of Ford SUV buyers who expect the truck look when buying a car, not the Mustang look.

I get the IRA rules, but I think Hyundai/Kia and VW are getting screwed, especially when they’ve been helping get smaller and more budget-friendly EVs on the road and pushing the technology. Time to build more auto plants in North America!

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
2 months ago

I wouldn’t be surprised if this came to the U.S. as the Edge instead. All that R&D just for one market just doesn’t make sense.

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
2 months ago
Reply to  M0L0TOV

What R&D? Ford just slapped a new body onto an existing VW EV skateboard. This is exactly what the skateboard strategy was supposed to enable: quick, low cost development of “different” vehicles. Let’s just hope that somebody eventually does something creative with one (Mr. Brubaker, you there?!?)

I do, however, hope Ford added a shrimp-filled frunk to spite VW’s frunkless ID’s.

Nayrbflat6aficionado
Nayrbflat6aficionado
2 months ago

Why the need for a frunk?

M0L0TOV
M0L0TOV
2 months ago

So we can get frunky.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
2 months ago

So much for the One Ford strategy

Nayrbflat6aficionado
Nayrbflat6aficionado
2 months ago

Back to Henry’s admiration of Adolf.

Kakairo
Kakairo
2 months ago

The only constant in Explorer styling is blacked-out A- and B-pillars, body color C-pillar, blacked-out D-pillar. That’s the one thing it needs to be an Explorer and this fails.

Torque
Torque
2 months ago

Since Ford sells the Mach E in Europe, I have to assume the intent is to market the Mach E as a more sport option and the Explorer as the more utilitarian option? That said with both being 2 row 5 seat ev crossovers I have to assume Ford is expecting some cannibalization of sales between these two options with an expectation that the whole sales numbers will be greater than the Mach E alone.
Certainly these two will be compared closely to each other by potential buyers, looking forward to the comparison videos

tsrich92
tsrich92
2 months ago

I don’t have a problem with this. There’s no reason you can’t sell both the electric and gas ‘Explorer’ so long as they are similar. The mustang ev was a different issue entirely; what do they plan to do when they actually replace the mustang with an electric version?

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago
Reply to  tsrich92

They’ll just call it the Mustang, won’t be any need to distinguish EVs from non-EVs by then, since there won’t be any non-EVs, like when we stopped having to specify film camera or digital camera and could go back to just saying camera.

The crossover can remain the Mustang Mach E, since consumers will be familiar with “Mach E” designating the crossover body style.

crustyjoe
crustyjoe
2 months ago

Evplorer?

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
2 months ago
Reply to  crustyjoe

Evploder.

nerdsrule
nerdsrule
2 months ago
Reply to  crustyjoe

rvlls right off the tongve.

JDE
JDE
2 months ago

I honestly think they all need to bring every EV over here and build them en masse. It will either markedly point out the problems one side says are there and tank the companies, or it will force the hand of the utilities to make charging up fast and everywhere a thing. SO the adoption and hopefully commodities of scale pricing actually make the decent BEV’s affordable. I think the issue is America’s love affair with pickup and the way Electric Pickups do pickup things, or don’t as it were.

Nicksuli
Nicksuli
2 months ago

No 3rd row of seats? There are so few reasonably affordable (<$50,000) 3 row EV options available. This seems to be a direct competitor to the Mach-E.

v10omous
v10omous
2 months ago

Giving two completely different vehicles the same name, what could go wrong?

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
2 months ago
Reply to  v10omous

Not like it’s a first time for Ford

eddyboi
eddyboi
2 months ago
Reply to  v10omous

I don’t think they sell Explorers in the EU so it’d be something new for them.

Sundance
Sundance
2 months ago
Reply to  eddyboi

Ford sells this plug-in Explorer at least here in Germany (not sure about the EU): http://www.ford.de/fahrzeuge/ford-explorer-plug-in-hybrid

And they sold the older Explorers here as well.

98Z28
98Z28
2 months ago

Good concept, take a well known vehicle and make a EV out of it.

Nayrbflat6aficionado
Nayrbflat6aficionado
2 months ago
Reply to  98Z28

… do the Pinto next.

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