Shropshire Star

Ford’s Explorer kicks off new electric offensive

New battery-powered model has been designed specifically for European buyers.

Ford Explorer

Ford has unveiled a new electric vehicle which will act as the ‘first wave’ of new EVs for the American firm.

The new Explorer has been completely engineered and built in Germany but has been designed with ‘striking American style’, according to Ford. It features a square, upright design which is quite a departure from the look of Ford’s current range of vehicles, while the front end has a smoothed-off finish to aid aerodynamics.

Ford Explorer
Inside, there’s a large central screen

Inside, there’s a ‘supersized’ movable touchscreen running Ford’s latest SYNC software, while behind it sits a private locker for keeping valuables out of sight. There’s also a 17-ltre console between the driver and front-seat passenger which is spacious enough to take a 15-inch laptop. When it comes to boot space, the Explorer can deliver up to 450 litres of room with the seats in place.

Ford says that all models will get heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as a massage function for the driver’s seat and intelligent climate control. Keyless entry is included as standard as well, as is a hands-free power tailgate that can be activated by waving your foot underneath the rear bumper.

A series of assistance systems – including Assisted Lane Change which can automatically change lanes when the indicator is activated and Clear Exit Assist which warns of an oncoming cyclist before a door is opened – are also fitted as standard. Underneath, the Explorer shares its MEB platform with many Volkswagen Group vehicles, furthering a partnership between Ford and the German manufacturer. Prices for the Explorer are ‘anticipated from less than €45,000 (circa £39,594).

“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,” said Martin Sander, general manager, Ford Model e, Europe.

A full electric range for the Explorer hasn’t yet been stated, though Ford says that it will have the ability to fast charge from 10 to 80 per cent in 25 minutes. Given it shares that MEB platform, it’s expected to deliver over 300 miles of range, which would be in line with Volkswagen Group models using the same underpinnings. Its Blue Oval Charging Network will give owners access to 21,000 charge points in the UK, too.

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