Ford delays electric Explorer launch until next summer

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The all-electric Ford Explorer will hit the market about six months later than expected. Ford informed workers at its Cologne plant Thursday that it will be delaying the launch of the electric Explorer.

Ford unveiled the electric version of its best-selling SUV in March, but only in Europe. The electric Explorer is based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, the same used for the ID.4.

The American automaker teamed up with VW in 2020 to launch two new EVs based on its platform to help expand and reinvent its brand in the region. The electric Explorer “combines German engineering with striking American style,” according to Ford.

Ford’s mid-size electric crossover is built for family adventurers, with roughly 470 liters of storage, a fully connected infotainment system, a private locker, and fast charge capabilities from 10% to 80% in about 25 minutes.

The Explorer will be the first electric vehicle built at Ford’s new Cologne EV facility in Germany. After opening the facility in June, its first carbon-neutral assembly plant, executive chair Bill Ford said it’s “the start of a new generation of clean manufacturing and electric vehicles in Europe.”

Ford electric Explorer at Cologne plant (Source: Ford)

Ford pushes back electric Explorer launch

Although production was slated to begin after the reopening, according to Cologne-based media Kölnische Rundschau, Ford is delaying the launch until next summer.

Initial plans included slowly ramping up electric Explorer production into the new year, with sales expected to begin in early 2024.

Ford informed Cologne workers Thursday of the delay, citing new global safety rules for the vehicle’s powertrain. Although the report does not specify the new safety rules, it does mention Ford’s plans to “bring vehicles to this new standard onto the market worldwide.”

Those looking to buy the new electric Explorer will have to wait until next summer. The electric Explorer starts at 45,000 euros ($49.5K).

Ford will continue working with VW in Europe, with plans to purchase 1.2 million platforms over the next six years.

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