Ford hit a high note with the announcement of the F-150 Lightning. Not only would the truck be the automaker’s first foray into electric trucks, but it was also being offered with an incredible starting price. Since then, Ford has raised the price multiple times, to the point that it’s now more than 33 percent more expensive than it was to begin with.
The Lightning Pro originally started at around $39,000, but Ford raised the price in August by several thousand dollars. In October, The Blue Oval hiked the price again, this time to $52,000. Now, the entry-level F-150 Lightning Pro starts at $55,974 – not quite the deal we all thought it’d be at first.
It’s easy to get upset with Ford, but there are a few legitimate reasons for the price hikes. Inflation has driven higher prices for raw materials and made production more expensive, while supply chain difficulties have made it hard for Ford to meet the steep demand for the truck.
Ford wants to build 150,000 Lightning trucks by fall 2023 and is investing billions in building new battery and production facilities to reach that goal. Two significant facilities in Kentucky and Tennessee will focus exclusively on EV and battery production and development.
It’s worth noting that the F-150 Lightning Pro’s $56,000 starting price pales in comparison to the rest of the range. The XLT now starts at almost $81,000, the Lariat at $74,474, and the Platinum at nearly $97,000. To be fair, buyers get a lot of truck with their purchase, and the prices don’t seem to be slowing buyers down much. It’s still nearly impossible to find a Lightning on a dealer’s lot, and when a truck is available, good luck paying MSRP for it.
Rivian was first to market with an electric pickup, but Ford was a quick second. By the end of 2023, we’ll see the Chevrolet Silverado EV and have a clearer picture of the price and release date for the GMC Sierra EV and the Ram Revolution electric truck. Tesla may keep its promise to start building the Cybertruck, but with Elon’s Twitter takeover, anything could happen.
If you’re considering an F-150 Lightning or any electric truck, weigh your options. In our current environment, building an electric truck creates several metric tons of carbon emissions, and the amount of time it will take to “break-even” with emissions-free driving is steep. In some cases, you’ll need to drive for two years or more to see net emissions benefit over a gas truck.