Ford releases fully electric, sub $50k Explorer SUV…in the wrong market

Ford finally took the sheets off its new mid-size electric SUV, a tribute to the automaker’s best-selling Explorer. The fully electric Explorer, built on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, is expected to start at less than $50,000 (€45,000).

The American automaker had a big year in 2022 after selling 61,575 EVs in the US and becoming the second largest EV maker in the states behind Tesla.

However, Ford is looking to carry its success overseas with a new generation of fully electric vehicles.

Ford partnered with Volkswagen in 2020 to use the German automaker’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB) electric vehicle platform with plans to launch two fully electric vehicles and help expand its position in Europe.

Ford’s current EV passenger car lineup consists of the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, two remakes of some of the company’s most iconic brands. Now, Ford is reinventing another classic.

After teasing its newest mid-size SUV based on VW’s MEB platform for several months with the hashtag “#ExploringReinvented,” Ford finally unveiled the new, all-electric Ford Explorer Tuesday.

Meet the fully electric Ford Explorer SUV

Ford took the iconic American SUV known for its durability and ability to be the everyday vehicle and unleashed a bold reinterpretation for the modern, electric era.

The new five-seat family SUV combines American design with top-notch German engineering resulting in a futuristic, stylish mid-size crossover.

Ford says its new electric SUV is fully equipped for family road trips with a supersized movable touchscreen, around 470 liters of storage, and advanced driver assistance technology.

The new Explorer will be the first model to be built at scale at Ford’s new Cologne EV facility in Germany.

Martin Sander, GM of Ford Model E Europe, commented on the release, saying:

Explorer is a trailblazer for a new breed of exciting Ford electric vehicles. Steeped in our American roots but built in Cologne for our customers in Europe, it is road trip-ready for the big adventures and fully loaded with everything our customers will need for their daily drives.

The electric SUV will come in two different trims – the Explorer and Explorer Premium, with the base level expected to start at less than €45,000 (roughly $48,500). In addition, it will be available in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive variants.

Ford says you will be able to charge the vehicle from 10 to 80% in just 25 minutes with access to 500,000 charging stations next year across Europe.

The new EV is part of Ford’s push into the European EV market with plans to become an all-electric brand by 2035, including nine electric vehicles in its lineup. Ford plans to sell 600,000 EVs annually in Europe by 2026, and the electric Explorer will play an integral role in getting there.

Electrek’s Take

Ford’s new mid-size electric Explorer embodies both the automaker’s roots and what it strives to become in the future with a clean aerodynamic design and modern features.

The only thing wrong with the vehicle is the market it’s launching in. Although an electric Explorer will likely sell in Europe, it would more than likely be a hit in the US. The Explorer is already one of Ford’s best-selling cars in the states. Why wouldn’t they bring it over?

What do you think? Should Ford launch the electric Explorer in the states, too? Maybe with enough interest, Ford will reconsider.