Who: The American brand's European arm
What: An family-sized electric SUV
When: Late 2023 in Europe/2026 in Australia (estimate)
Why: The blue oval continues to expand its EV range
Ford Australia has begun accelerating into an electric future. The blue oval had long ago confirmed the arrival of its first electric vehicle, the E-Transit, and recently confirmed that the Mustang Mach-E will join the local line-up by the end of 2023.
And now we know what the next likely electric addition is – the all-new Explorer EV.
This is a new battery-powered SUV designed for the European market and built in partnership with Volkswagen. That's because the US and German automotive giants have an agreement to share developments across a variety of models; which has so far included the new VW Amarok being based on the Ford Ranger.
To return the favour, the Explorer is based on the same underpinnings as Volkswagen ID.4 but has a unique Ford design to ensure it stands apart. This five-seat SUV reportedly has the ability to charge from 10 to 80 per cent in just 25 minutes.
The new Explorer slots between the Mustang Mach-E and the recently-revealed Puma EV in what will likely be Ford Australia's SUV line-up in the coming years. The local operation recently confirmed that the Puma EV will be available down under but remains non-committal on the Explorer.
However, given that the Explorer is focused on the European market and confirmed for right-hand drive production for the UK, it seems highly probable that it will eventually join the Australian range. However, as has been the case with the Mustang Mach-E, Ford Australia will likely save any official announcement until closer to launch, as it will likely be several years wait for production to ramp up in Europe.
But eventually Ford Australia's SUV line-up will be electrified in some form, with even the Everest likely to adopt the same hybrid powertrain the Ranger is widely-anticipated to introduce in the not-too-distant future.