Ford has revealed its long-awaited Ranger Plug-In Hybrid, which will arrive in Australia in early 2025 and offer the ability to power appliances and tools.
The electrified Ranger uses a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated with an electric motor and a high-voltage battery.
The electric motor sends power through Ford’s Modular Hybrid Transmission, and the Ranger PHEV can be driven as a parallel hybrid or on pure electric power.
It has a claimed electric range of more than 45km on the stricter WLTP cycle.
Ford says this is plenty of electric range for a plug-in Ranger, as according to its connected vehicle data more than half of Ranger owners travel 40km or less per day.
Braked towing capacity is 3500kg, just like the rest of the Ranger line – important, as Ford says 86 per cent of Ranger owners tow.
However, Ford hasn’t confirmed the battery size or power and torque outputs of the Ranger PHEV, other than to confirm it will offer more torque than any other Ranger.
The torquiest Ranger presently is the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel V6, which produces 600Nm. Ford offers a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder in other markets without the plug-in hybrid system, and this produces 201kW and 420Nm.
The rear frame has additional bracing to support the battery, and a charging point has been fitted alongside the fuel filler.
Ford also says it uses heavy-duty suspension, while the steering has been retuned.
The company hasn’t confirmed a payload figure, other than to say there’s “no lessening of the payload… versus what we have on today’s line-up”.
Four-wheel drive is standard, and there will be a range of PHEV-specific modes: EV Auto, the default mode that taps the petrol engine as necessary; 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 on the electric F-150 Lightning. This allows customers to power tools and appliances using the vehicle’s battery, effectively allowing the Ranger PHEV to be used as a generator.
A single 10a 240V outlet is located in the cabin, with two 10a 240V outlets in the tub.
Ford hasn’t confirmed pricing for the Ranger PHEV, nor what trim levels it will be available in beyond the previewed Wildtrak.
It also hasn’t commented on what percentage of sales it expects the powertrain to account for.
All of the physical testing of the electrified Ranger has been conducted in Victoria, as Ford Australia has led development, but Ford hasn’t confirmed from which factory it will be sourced.
Production will begin in the fourth quarter of 2024.
All Australian-market Rangers come from Thailand, though Ford also builds the current model in the US, and in China, South Africa and Argentina.
“We think it’s a really viable alternative [to an electric ute],” said Ford Australia CEO Andrew Birkic.
“There are many different user cases when it comes to fleets… some tow a lot, some carry a lot, some are in rural areas, some go out in the middle of nowhere whether they’re forestry or mining.
“Certainly in terms of operating costs, we think there’s a market there and that will be a very important part of our pre-sale campaign is working with our customers, and we’re really strong in fleets.”
Ford says currently, only a plug-in hybrid can offer all of the attributes expected of a mid-sized ute including 3500kg braked towing capacity.
“What we know is there certainly would be some demand for [an electric Ranger], and we’ve seen that in an overseas market for example. But they’re different vehicles, different platforms, different user cases, but we have a PHEV, we think that is the right vehicle for Australia and New Zealand at this point in time,” said Mr Birkic.
The Ranger PHEV will be Ford Australia’s second PHEV, after the electrified Escape that will be discontinued this year.
The company says it has nothing to share on the long-rumoured Everest PHEV.
MORE: Everything Ford Ranger