Back in May, Ford CEO Jim Farley revealed that a Ford Explorer EV was in development, which didn’t come as a huge surprise given the success enjoyed by the Ford Mustang Mach-E and the large amount of interest customers have expressed in the Ford E-Transit and Ford F-150 Lightning. Now, Automotive News is reporting when, exactly, we can expect the Ford Explorer EV to launch as well as where it will be produced.
According to this new report, the all-electric Explorer will launch in 2023 and will be built at the Ford Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico, alongside the Mach-E. ICE-powered Explorer models will continue to be built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant, however.
Farley has talked at length in recent months about his desire to electrify Ford’s most iconic nameplates, including the Ford Bronco. The Explorer is one of the automaker’s longest-running, most successful models, so an Explorer EV makes perfect sense, particularly when Ford is eyeing an all-electric transition in both Europe and North America in the coming years.
Currently, Ford produces hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Explorer, though the latter is not sold in North America. The regular hybrid model utilizes FoMoCo’s 3.3L Duratec 33 gas engine paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 318 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. The Explorer PHEV pairs the automaker’s 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine with an electric motor, generator, and 13.6 kWh lithium-ion battery to produce 450 horsepower and 608 pound-feet of torque.
However, an all-electric Ford Explorer could potentially trump those figures, much the same way the F-150 Lightning will become the most powerful pickup in the Ford F-Series lineup when it launches next spring.