Ford is preparing to commence production of its first electric Explorer models in Europe this summer, with the initial deliveries anticipated in August. The delay in launching the all-electric Explorer, attributed to a new battery standard, has pushed the production start to June, approximately eight months later than originally expected.
Unveiled in March of the previous year, the electric Explorer is a result of Ford's collaboration with Volkswagen in 2020, utilizing the MEB platform. Ford emphasizes that the electric SUV combines German engineering with distinctive American style.
The upgraded Cologne factory will be the production hub for the electric Explorer, marking Ford's significant $2 billion investment in transforming the facility for electric vehicle manufacturing.
Initially slated for production by the end of 2023 and sales commencement in early 2024, the timeline was revised due to the new battery standard. Despite this setback, Ford is now aiming to initiate production in June, with the first customer deliveries scheduled for August in Cologne, according to a company spokesperson.
Ford's second electric vehicle, based on Volkswagen's platform, is projected to enter series production by the end of 2024. The automaker's European headquarters in Cologne is the focal point for vehicle development and production.
The electric Ford Explorer, positioned as a “road-trip ready” mid-size SUV, boasts features such as a sizable movable touchscreen, 470 liters of storage, and Ford's advanced driver assist technology. It will be available in two trims, the Explorer and Explorer Premium, with the base model expected to start under $50,000 (€45,000) in Europe.
These electric offerings are part of Ford's broader strategy to transition to an all-electric lineup in Europe by 2035. The company aims to have nine electric vehicles in its European portfolio, with the electric Explorer playing a significant role in achieving Ford's target of selling 600,000 EVs annually in Europe by 2026.