New global safety regulations that will soon come into effect reportedly force Ford to postpone its European-built all-electric Explorer SUV by about six months into 2024. Production of the new Explorer, unveiled in March 2023, was initially planned to start at the newly opened Electric Vehicle Center in Cologne (Germany) after the summer holidays.
According to the newspaper Kölnische Rundschau, Ford staff in Cologne was informed of the delay on Thursday. That means, says the newspaper, ordering the new Explorer EV will be delayed until summer 2024, although Ford was already taking non-binding reservations. A base price under 45 000 euros was targeted before.
Technical twin to VW ID.4?
Which ‘new safety regulations’ Ford is referring to wasn’t specified. But the carmaker said it wants its Explorer model to comply worldwide. Ford is replacing the ‘old’ Explorer with a new, more compact zero-emission version based on the MEB platform of Volkswagen. That means the medium crossover is more or less the technical twin to the Volkswagen ID.4.
But Ford hasn’t revealed powertrain details yet, so it’s unclear which Volkswagen components Ford will use and what the differences with the ID.4 will be. The Explorer EV will be available in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, but there are not much more details.
However, looking at the specifications of its Volkswagen sibling, it is more than likely that Ford will offer the same two battery packs (52 kWh and 77 kWh of usable energy), a similar range of up to 500 kilometers, and a muscular version as an answer to the GTX version from Wolfsburg.
Though Ford abstains from battery specifications, fast-charging times are communicated as 10-80% in 25 minutes, which admittedly is faster than any of the ID.4 models.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
As for driving aids, the Explorer features active lane assist. If conditions allow, the vehicle can autonomously perform overtaking maneuvers on the highway. The car has 12 ultrasonic sensors, five cameras, and three radar devices that collectively can monitor 360 degrees around the vehicle.
This safety jacket also helps with parking, which can be performed automatically. Clear Exit Assist ensures that the doors are kept closed in the case of an approaching cyclist or vehicle.
The European Union wants to ensure an additional level of road safety and decided all new cars must offer various advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which will apply to all cars and vehicles from 2024 at the latest.
That’s already mandatory for newly homologated vehicles from 2022, but it will also be enforced for vehicles with older type approval from 2024. The delays Ford is envisioning for its Explorer eventually would have something to do with this EU obligation.