Ford has unveiled its long-awaited Ranger plug-in hybrid, which will launch in Australia in early 2025 and offer the ability to power appliances and tools.
The electrified ranger uses a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor and high-voltage battery.
The electric motor transmits power through Ford’s modular hybrid transmission, and the Ranger PHEV can be powered as a parallel hybrid or purely electric.
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The stated electric range is more than 45 km in the stricter WLTP cycle.
Ford says this is a great electric range for a plug-in Ranger, with more than half of Ranger owners driving 25 miles or less per day, according to connected vehicle data.
Like the rest of the Ranger range, the braked towing capacity is 3,500kg – important because, according to Ford, 86 percent of Ranger owners tow a trailer.
However, Ford hasn’t confirmed the Ranger PHEV’s battery size or power and torque, other than to confirm that it will offer more torque than any other Ranger.
The highest-torque Ranger is currently the 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6 with 600 Nm. In other markets, Ford offers a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder without a plug-in hybrid system that produces 201 kW and 420 Nm.
The rear frame has additional struts to support the battery and a charging point has been installed next to the tank filler neck.
Ford also says it uses a heavy-duty suspension while the steering has been retuned.
The company hasn’t confirmed payload details other than to say there is “no reduction in payload…compared to what we have in today’s product lineup.”
All-wheel drive is standard and there will be a range of PHEV-specific modes: EV Auto, the default mode, which switches on the petrol engine when needed; EV Now, which uses only the electric motor; and EV Charge, which uses the engine to charge the battery.
The Ranger PHEV will offer Pro Power Onboard, like the electric F-150 Lightning. This allows customers to power tools and equipment from the vehicle’s battery, effectively allowing the Ranger PHEV to be used as a generator.
There is a single 10A 240V socket in the cabin and two 10A 240V sockets in the tub.
Ford hasn’t confirmed pricing for the Ranger PHEV or the trim levels it will be available in beyond the announced Wildtrak.
It also hasn’t commented on what percentage of sales the powertrain is expected to account for.
All physical testing of the electrified Ranger was conducted in Victoria as Ford Australia led development, but Ford has not confirmed which factory it will be sourced from.
Production will begin in the fourth quarter of 2024.
All Rangers for the Australian market come from Thailand, although Ford also builds the current model in the US as well as China, South Africa and Argentina.
“We think it’s a really viable alternative [to an electric ute]said Andrew Birkic, CEO of Ford Australia.
“When it comes to fleets, there are many different use cases: some tow a lot, some carry a lot, some are in rural areas, some are in the middle of nowhere, be it forestry or mining.
“In terms of operating costs, we believe there is a market there and that will be a very important part of our pre-sales campaign. We work with our customers and we are really strong with fleets.”
Ford says currently only a plug-in hybrid can offer all the features expected of a mid-size ute, including a braked towing capacity of 3500kg.
“What we do know is that there would certainly be some demand [an electric Ranger], and we saw that in an overseas market, for example. But they’re different vehicles, different platforms, different use cases, but we have a PHEV, we think that’s the right vehicle for Australia and New Zealand at this point in time,” Mr Birkic said.
The Ranger PHEV will be Ford Australia’s second PHEV after the electrified one Escape that will be discontinued this year.
The company says it has no comment on the long-rumored rumors Everest PHEV.
MORE: All Ford Rangers