The production schedule for the upcoming electric SUV by Ford has been delayed until the second quarter of 2024 due to the introduction of new battery regulations. Originally set to begin production at Ford’s Cologne facility in Germany in the upcoming weeks, the launch has been postponed by several months due to the implementation of these new battery standards.
Ford had initially planned to start manufacturing the electric Explorer SUV shortly after concluding Fiesta production at the Cologne plant in July. However, the new battery legislation, specifically UN Regulation 100.3, which focuses on battery safety certification for electric vehicles and includes a set of conformity tests for European vehicle sales, has prompted the company to adjust its timeline.
In a statement provided to Autocar, an affiliate of the Automotive Daily Network, Ford expressed enthusiasm about introducing the electric Explorer SUV to the European market. The company emphasized its commitment to adhering to UN Regulation 100.3, aligning with their internal commitment to delivering safe and high-quality vehicles globally. Consequently, the anticipated release of the new Explorer is now slated for the summer of 2024.
This change in plans impacts the workers at Ford’s Cologne plant, who were informed about the decision on August 10th. The delay is attributed to the need to subject the Explorer SUV to the new suite of conformity tests introduced by the battery safety regulations to ensure compliance.
Interestingly, the Explorer SUV is the first of two electric vehicles developed by Ford in collaboration with the Volkswagen Group. Volkswagen, in response to the new regulations, confirmed that it will also be adapting its battery technology in Europe to gradually transition its Group models to meet the new standards. Notably, Volkswagen expressed no intentions of removing any of its cars from the market due to these regulatory changes.
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