After a six-month delay, the much-anticipated electric Ford Explorer – not to be confused with the Explorer for the US market – is finally ready to make its European and UK debut. The zero-emissions SUV, a collaboration between Ford and Volkswagen, was initially slated for release last autumn but faced a delay due to new UN battery certification requirements.

The delay stemmed from the vehicle's original battery not meeting the stringent UN Regulation 100.3 standards for EV safety certification. In response, Ford opted to wait for a new nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) pack to become available and subsequently re-engineer the vehicle to accommodate it. This delay, however, has resulted in a significant improvement in the Explorer's maximum range, now boasting an impressive 374 miles compared to the initial target of 311 miles.

Gallery: 2023 Ford Explorer Electric

"The Explorer is a better vehicle now than we would have launched half a year ago," Martin Sander, director of Ford's Model E electrification division for Europe, told Autocar. "We've used the additional time we had to get everything nailed down, to make sure that we're delivering a perfect vehicle to our customers."

Priced at an estimated £39,875 for the standard range battery variant and £45,875 for the extended range version, the all-electric Explorer marks Ford's first passenger EV developed and manufactured in Europe. Looking at other MEB-based electric SUVs, the base Skoda Enyaq 60 starts at £38,970 in the United Kingdom, while the VW ID.4 Match (with the same 52 kWh battery as the Ford and Skoda) kicks off at £40,145.

As for the Explorer, customers will have the option to choose between single-motor rear-wheel drive or dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrains, both utilising an extended-range NMC battery. The latter is a more powerful option that is equivalent to Volkswagen’s ID.4 GTX with 340 PS. Charging the Explorer is also made convenient, with a 10-80 per cent charge taking approximately 26 minutes using up to 185 kW DC fast charging on the dual-motor variant. The single-motor model supports a peak charging speed of 135 kW.

Performance-wise, the Explorer doesn't disappoint with an acceleration comparable to a Ford Focus ST, the automaker says, and a towing capacity of up to 1,200 kg for the AWD model. The quickest model sprints to 62 mph in 5.4 seconds.

Inside, the vehicle comes nicely equipped as standard with the SYNC Move 2 infotainment system, heated steering wheel and front seats, massaging driver's seat, and wireless phone charging. For those seeking additional luxury, the Explorer Premium specification adds a 10-speaker B&O sound system, ambient interior lighting, and upgraded headlamps among other features.


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Gallery: Ford Explorer EV drives across the globe with Lexie Alford at the wheel