- The Ford Explorer EV is based on the same Volkswagen MEB platform as other electric vehicles like the ID.3 and ID.4, but it has a unique exterior design and interior that sets it apart.
- Unfortunately, the Ford Explorer EV is only available in Europe and is not sold in the US. However, it has the potential to appeal to American tastes with its SUV-like design.
- The Explorer EV features a 15-inch movable touchscreen that can be adjusted for better viewing angles or moved back to reveal a hidden storage compartment. It also has a spacious center console and a soundbar integrated into the dash for an enhanced acoustic experience.
The Ford Explorer EV is the Blue Oval’s second bespoke electric model for the European market after the Mustang Mach-E. Just like its other electric stablemate, it is a crossover, but the Explorer dons a more traditional SUV body than the more rakish Mach-E, and it has a few tricks up its sleeves.
The most important detail is that it’s actually not a Ford underneath. It’s based on the same platform as the popular Volkwsagen ID family of electric vehicles. The fact that they share a platform doesn’t mean that the Explorer EV is simply a rebadged ID.4. If you didn’t know the VW connection, you would not be able to tell by looking at or sitting in the vehicle.
Let’s check out some cool things you should know about the Explorer EV!
1. Based on the Volkswagen MEB Platform
You might be familiar with the venerable Ford Explorer name if you live in the United States. The Explorer has been a staple on American roads for a very long time, but the electric model is a completely different animal that’s intended for the specific tastes of the European market.
It rides on the same modular MEB platform as various other Volkswagen products, like the ID.3, ID.4, and the funky ID Buzz van, as well as EVs from Škoda and Seat. However, Ford will tell you that this doesn’t mean it is a half-baked attempt to get into the EV game in Europe without too much effort.
This Ford-badged SUV has a unique exterior design that is completely different from any VW product, and the interior is also clearly all Ford. Sharing a platform that’s already been developed just helps Ford bring development costs down and this product to market faster, which is very important if it wants to capitalize on the quickly growing electric vehicle market.
2. Only for Europe
Even though it looks like a purposeful and upright little SUV that should appeal to American tastes, the Ford Explorer EV is one of many electric vehicles you can’t buy in the US.
It’s disappointing that Ford chose not to bring this model to the States, but hopefully, this will change at some point. For now, though, the Explorer EV will only be sold in Europe.
3. 15-Inch Movable Touchscreen With a Few Surprises
The Ford Explorer EV has the ultimate party trick: a massive, vertically oriented touchscreen that moves out of the way to reveal a secret storage compartment. This is a feature you’d find on your favorite vehicle from a spy movie, and it’s available on a Ford family SUV.
The 15-inch touchscreen can be adjusted to improve viewing angles, or you can simply move it all the way back, which reveals a hidden storage area that Ford calls My Private Locker. This hidden cubby is perfect for storing valuables and keeping them away from prying eyes. The touchscreen itself is gorgeous, but a notable omission is the awesome physical knob that Ford includes on the higher-end Mach-E’s touchscreen.
4. Mega Center Console for Incredible Storage
The Ford Explorer EV pays homage to its American SUV roots by including a staple of American car design in its interior: a massive center console with cupholders. The Explorer EV’s MegaConsole can accommodate up to 17 liters of your stuff, and it’s so gargantuan that it can even store a full-sized 15-inch laptop within its confines.
It’s mind-blowing that you can easily tuck away your laptop in your Explorer EV’s center console. There are many EVs with awesome interiors, but the Explorer EV might take the cake for the most practical interior.
The giant center console has a removable cupholder for more versatility, and there’s even an included ice scraper inside the center console. The MegaConsole is a cool feature that shows off one of the greatest benefits of EVs over internal combustion vehicles: better interior space and packaging.
5. No Front Trunk
The VW ID.4 appears to have a lot of room up front under the hood, but Ford refuses to make use of this space by adding a front trunk. With the Explorer, the manufacturer hasn’t diverted from Volkswagen’s philosophy to not equip any MEB-based EVs with a front trunk, even though the space up front doesn’t seem to be taken up by anything and is just begging for a plastic liner to be transformed into a cargo hauling area.
This is one of the few disappointing omissions on the Explorer EV, and hopefully, Ford can eventually figure out a way to include a frunk, perhaps as a mid-cycle refresh. Believe it or not, in such a competitive market segment, the difference between a buyer choosing one EV over another might come down to an extremely simple detail like the inclusion of a front trunk.
6. Soundbar for an Awesome Acoustic Experience
The Ford Explorer EV has a soundbar neatly integrated into the driver’s side upper dash, right above the HVAC vents. The soundbar also has interesting ambient lighting built-in, which gives the appearance that it’s floating on top of the dash.
The soundbar is quite large, so it should offer a pleasant auditory experience in the vehicle. Even if some of the Ford Explorer EV’s features might seem a bit gimmicky, the fact that the manufacturer is trying to include cool and unique features is great, especially ones not present on any other MEB vehicle.
7. Fast Charging Adds Convenience for Road Trips
Being able to charge your EV quickly on the road is extremely important, and the Explorer EV delivers in that regard. You can charge it using a DC fast charger that will fill the battery from 10 to 80 percent in a speedy 25 minutes.
Waiting for what seems like an eternity for your EV to charge is no fun, so it’s great to see Ford add legitimate fast charging capabilities to its Ford Explorer EV. Charging speeds are only half of the problem, though, because charger availability is also an issue that must be tackled. That’s why Ford is promising European buyers access to 500,000 charging points across the continent, which is great news for prospective Explorer EV buyers.
8. Surprisingly Upscale Interior Provides Great Comfort
While the Ford Explorer EV borrows certain interior elements from the Volkswagen family, such as window switches and headlight controls, the interior is immediately recognizable as a Ford product. The massive touchscreen is the first thing you’ll notice, but the rest of the interior is equally impressive.
The front seats are sporty buckets with an integrated headrest, available with a quilted pattern on the vegan leather seats that looks gorgeous. Another luxurious touch is the calming ambient lighting, which can be configured between 10 different colors and really lends the interior a classy vibe.
There’s even fancy contrasting stitching on the synthetic leather. It’s very nice to see Ford stepping up its game when it comes to interior design, especially with the choice to join other manufacturers that are using innovative interior materials.
The Ford Explorer EV Is a Great Electric SUV for European Buyers
The Explorer EV is a handsome electric SUV filled with many practical touches that should lure new buyers to the Ford brand. The interior doesn’t look like it’s from a Volkswagen, and it has many useful features, especially the huge screen that can move out of the way to reveal a safe area for storing valuables.
Ford already sells the Mustang Mach-E, which is a great competitor to the Tesla Model Y (and actually better in some ways). The Explorer EV should slot in nicely just below the more premium Mustang Mach-E, which is a space Ford needed to fill quickly. In the meantime, we’ll keep hoping the Explorer EV makes its way Stateside sooner rather than later.