UPDATE: Ford has confirmed the delayed European launch of the Explorer EV to InsideEVs Germany, noting that the postponement is caused by the adoption of a new European standard for electric vehicles.
"Ford supports the upcoming European standard for electric vehicles (UN Regulation 100.3/ ECE-R 100.3) because it is in line with our internal philosophy of supplying our customers worldwide with high-quality and safe vehicles. This means that the new Explorer will now be delivered to customers from summer 2024."
Original version of the story follows below.
Ford has reportedly delayed the market launch of the all-electric Explorer SUV in Europe by about half a year. The two-row compact SUV was previously planned for introduction in early 2024.
Initial production of the Ford Explorer EV, which is based on Volkswagen's MEB platform, was supposed to start this month after the plant summer holidays at the Electric Vehicle Center in Cologne, which Ford opened in June 2023, followed by a slow ramp-up for a start of sales in early 2024.
New global safety regulations for drivetrains are apparently to blame for the delay, according to Germany's Kölnische Rundschau (via Electrive). The regional daily publication based in Cologne claims that Ford informed the Cologne EV Center's workforce of the delay on August 10.
According to the report, Ford has decided to postpone the electric Explorer by approximately six months to account for new worldwide safety regulations that will soon come into effect. The US automaker has decided to launch vehicles globally according to this new standard, the newspaper added. That being said, the report does not provide details on the "global safety rules" Ford is talking about.
Gallery: 2023 Ford Explorer Electric
The European Union will make some additional assistance systems compulsory for all new cars starting in 2024. For newly homologated vehicles this obligation has already been applied since July 6, 2022, and from 2024 it will also be enforced for vehicles with older type approval.
As a result of the delay, the Ford Explorer EV will only be available for purchase by customers "next summer," according to the Kölnische Rundschau. Ford had been taking non-binding pre-orders for the electric Explorer since the model's unveiling in March 2023.
Ford hasn't revealed powertrain details yet so it remains unclear which individual components Ford is getting from Volkswagen and how the electric Explorer differs from other MEB-based models.
The automaker only said the Explorer EV offers "responsive and refined" rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive battery-electric powertrains that offer DC fast charging times from 10 percent to 80 percent as low as 25 minutes.
Ford is targeting a base price under 45,000 euros ($49,600) when orders open – likely in early 2024.