Today, Ford Motor Company announced a new electric vehicle, a fully electric SUV, the Ford Explorer which has excited many across the globe.
The Explorer has been a nameplate that’s historically offered as a hybrid, but is now moving to an all-electric powertrain, following on from their successful Mustang Mach-E, F-150 lightning and to a lesser extent, the E-transit van.
While it’s great to see a legacy OEM like Ford offers another electric vehicle in 2024, what’s unfortunate is the lack of ambition to supply to countries like Australia.
All-electric Explorer offers an outstanding digital experience with a fully loaded infotainment system, 15-inch movable screen, wireless app integration and advanced driver assistance. This infotainment system runs SYNC MOVE, and supports wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with wireless
charging as standard.
What’s really interesting about this screen is not the moving part, but the fact it does not have the large volume knob glued onto the screen like the Mach-E and F150 Lightning. This may indicate a shift in direction from Ford.
Ford hasn’t provided many specs for the Explorer, with kW found nowhere in the release and a statement at the end on range – ‘Officially homologated driving range will be published closer to on-sale date’.
12 ultrasonic sensors – 5 cameras
– 3 radars – for advanced driver
assistance technologies including
Assisted Lane Change and Clear
Design-wise, I think Ford designers and engineers nailed it. The car looks great, modern, high-end, and capable and those diamond-patterned seats look amazing. The interior is simplistic and modern and somewhere you’d love to spend hours in, for a road trip or weekend away with the family. Just let us buy it damn it!
What they do say is that it’ll charge from 10%-80% in 25 minutes.
By way of technology, Ford says the all-electric Explorer will feature their most advanced driver assistance systems including, for the first time on a Ford in Europe, Assisted Lane Change for smoothly and safely changing lanes at the push of an indicator stalk, and Clear Exit Assist that provides warnings of approaching cyclists before opening doors in busy city centres.
When asked about the Australian availability of the Ford Explorer by user @13arm13arm, Ford Australia had a disappointing response, ‘We have no news to share’, so from that we can add this as yet another disappointment, as Ford has failed to secure serious electric vehicles for the Australian market.
Way back at CES 2011, Ford officially announced they were shipping their first fully electric car, the Focus Electric. Despite years of campaigning and more recent years, Government incentives to do so, Ford has failed to bring the Focus Electric, the Mach-E, the F150 lightning and now the Explorer to Australia.
To drive vehicle costs lower, manufacturing scale matters, so having a global platform for vehicles is critical to make the economics work. The international availability of Ford’s electric vehicles is likely to be a symptom of a lack of battery supply and manufacturing capability as their legacy auto plans to transition and in the case of Ford’s BlueOval City, it’s not due to open until sometime in 2025.
As Australian EV adoption takes off, Ford is about to miss a critical part of the S-curve and I’m concerned that Ford families are about to become Tesla, Polestar, Kia, Hyundai and BYD, families.
If you’re in any doubt about the state of Ford Australia’s electric vehicle offering, take a trip to the embarrassing hybrid-electric page on their website – https://www.ford.com.au/hybrid-electric/