The time has finally come: Ford started mass production of the all-electric Explorer at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Centre today. As a reminder, the Explorer was first presented in March 2023, more than a year ago. The manufacturer has invested more than £1.5 billion in the plant to be fully geared towards production of electric vehicles.

The Ford Explorer is the first high-volume electric model to roll off the production line at the Cologne Electric Vehicle Centre and, according to the manufacturer, represents "the vanguard of a new generation of electric cars for the European market". In addition, production of a new sporty crossover will start this year as the second electric model from Cologne. This model may be called the Capri.

Gallery: Ford startet Serienproduktion des vollelektrischen Explorer

The new Explorer is also the first fully electric mass-produced passenger car model that Ford has developed for Europe. At the market launch of the Ford Explorer, the range starts with a rear-wheel drive model whose technology appears to come from the VW ID.4 Pro. The upscale variant has the 340 PS all-wheel drive from the ID.4 GTX and not the 77 kWh battery, but the new 79 kWh battery that was introduced in the VW ID.3 GTX.

The rear-wheel drive model apparently gets the new 285 PS motor (APP550), which made its debut in the ID.7. In addition, there is the familiar 77 kWh battery, which should make up to 374 miles possible. This means that the Ford can cover around 31 miles more than the ID.4 Pro. Prices in the UK start at £39,875.

Ford starts series production of the all-electric Explorer

At the Cologne Electric Vehicle Centre, Ford uses hundreds of state-of-the-art robots, including artificial intelligence (AI), to help ensure the highest production quality. For example, self-learning machines are among the special features of the new Electric Vehicle Centre. Maximum precision, efficiency and quality are guaranteed by more than 600 robots that perform tasks such as welding, cutting, cleaning, painting and fixing.

In the newly built control centre, the entire production process can be monitored in real time - right down to the number of individual nuts and bolts at a workstation. The so-called "digital twin" of the plant runs on a huge touchscreen. It displays all workstations and the associated information on tooling, material flows, work safety and much more. The employees there provide additional information about the status of their workstations via small touchscreens.

"We monitor every production step, from assembling the first parts to rolling out the finished vehicle, and thus achieve an unprecedented level of quality for our customers," explains Rene Wolf, Managing Director Production Ford-Werke GmbH.