When German engineering and American design collide, you get intriguing electric family SUVs like the new Ford Explorer EV – and it’s under consideration for the Australian market.
The all-new, all-electric iteration of one of Ford’s most famous SUV nameplates was previously thought to be off-limits to Aussies, but Ford’s stance on the Volkswagen ID.4-based mid-size electric SUV appears has softened in recent months – potentially due to the runaway success of the Tesla Model Y locally.
On the eve of launching its first dedicated EV, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Ford Australia says it’s now considering the Explorer for local release when the time is right and if there’s solid supply from the factory in Cologne, Germany.
“It’s brand-new in Europe, it looks fantastic and it will be a great vehicle,” Ford Australia product communications manager Ben Nightingale told carsales at the national media launch of the Ford Mach-E in Brisbane.
“Is it something that down the track we’d like [to release in Australia]? Sure, we’re always looking at options.”
The Ford Explorer EV is currently priced similarly to its donor vehicle, the Volkswagen ID.4, in Europe so there’s every chance it could be offered here from under $60,000 like VW’s mid-size electric SUV is expected to be, in which case it would substantially undercut the circa-$70K Telsa Model Y.
The battery-electric Explorer is likely to be offered with the same 52kWh or 77kWh battery packs as the Volkswagen ID.4, and you can also expect to see single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrains offering ranges of between 350 and 540km depending on the model variant.
The maximum battery charging rate is expected to be 130kW, which is well below rivals like the Kia EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ 5 and 6, which can handle much faster 350kW DC fast-charging rates.
But the Ford exec cautioned that if the Explorer does get approved for Australia, it’s unlikely to occur in the short-term future.
“Are we looking at right now? Not right now,” said Nightingale.
“But we’re always assessing market conditions and if we think there’s demand there [we’ll import it].
“But a key piece of the puzzle is supply as well – that’s always a key factor for us. There’s no point bringing this vehicle here if we can’t get regular and consistent supply,” he cautioned.
“That’s the fundamentals [of supply] and that’s one of the reasons why we’re announcing Mustang Mach-E now, because we know we can get solid, ongoing supply to meet customer demand.”
As Explorer EV demand in Europe is expected to spike during its launch phase later in 2023 and throughout 2024, supplies could remain tight for the next couple of years.
Ford Australia has committed to introducing five electrified models Down Under by 2025, including the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV this month, followed next year by the Puma EV compact SUV, the E-Transit and E-Transit Custom vans and, in early 2025, the Ford Ranger PHEV.
Ford Australia is yet to confirm any subsequent models for local release beyond its mid-term EV rollout, which in future could also include the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pick-up or the all-new three-row global electric SUV that was confirmed earlier this year by Ford’s global CEO, Jim Farley.
So the Ford Explorer EV is unlikely to arrive in local Blue Oval showrooms before 2026 or 2027, but it would provide the brand with a more affordable rival for the top-selling Model Y by slotting between the Puma EV and Mach-E, and give Ford Australia a much-needed mid-size SUV following the departure of the Endura and, soon, the Escape.
The Explorer EV is another high-profile vehicle to emerge from a product-sharing arrangement between Ford and Volkswagen, following the new-generation Ranger and Amarok.
Ford is expected to leverage Volkswagen’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture (MEB) to launch more EVs this decade.


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