We think the Ford F-150 Lightning is one of the most significant electric vehicles ever. The gasoline-powered F-150 is the most popular vehicle in America – and its buyers are among the most demanding, and most resistant to electric vehicles. So the fact that Ford managed to rack up 200,000 orders before closing the books earlier this year is pretty remarkable.
The instant demand for the F-150 Lightning, combined with ongoing supply-chain shortages, probably got Ford wondering if it wasn’t charging enough for what has become a runaway best-seller. Globally, costs for batteries, electronics, and other automotive components has skyrocketed, and Ford can’t build Lightnings fast enough to meet demand.
So, maybe it isn’t a surprise that Ford has raised the price of the F-150 Lightning over the last year. Indeed, for the 2023 model year, the entry point for the Lightning range is significantly higher than it was for the initial batch of orders in 2022.
Over 30 Percent Increase
The starting MSRP for the entry-level, work-focused Pro model is now $55,974 before incentives – a massive 34 percent increase from the $41,669 starting MSRP of the 2022 model. That’s for the standard range battery, which is rated by the EPA for an estimated 240 miles, and without the optional ChargeStation Pro 19.2-kW on-board charger.
The Pro is a truck configured for work. Two electric motors are standard – all Lightnings are all-wheel drive – and you get a five-passenger cabin with a hard-wearing vinyl interior. A 12-inch Sync infotainment system provides smartphone connectivity and intelligent navigation to find the fastest routes on long drives, including charging stops, while 2.4 kW of on-board power lets you run tools and other accessories. 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tires are standard; you’ll need to pay extra for towing packages.
Long Range Starts at Over $80,000
The next step up from the Pro model is the 2023 F-150 Lightning XLT. Once listed at a starting MSRP of around $53,000, the price has risen to a starting MSRP of $65,365 for the standard battery – and the starting MSRP for the long-range battery is now $80,974.
The XLT upgrades Pro trim’s interior is upgraded to cloth, and interior work surfaces and additional lighting add extra usability. Extended running boards make getting in easier, and a 360-degree camera makes parking a cinch. The extended-range battery also adds significant usability, upping the EPA-estimated range to 320 miles.
Big Truck, Big Luxury
For more luxury, there are two additional options. Lariat trim on the F-150 Lightning is a luxurious spec pitched more toward personal than work use. It has a geometric gray-iron satin grille, 20-inch dark grey wheels, leather seats with heat and ventilation, twin-panel glass moonroof, Bang & Olufsen sound system, power sliding rear window, and a power-operated tailgate. The touchscreen is upped to a 15.5-inch vertical-format unit, with 360-degree camera to make parking a cinch. Starting MSRP is now $74,474 for the standard range, or $85,974 for the extended-range battery.
Finally, the Platinum F-150 Lightning is Identifiable by its tinted black chrome “grille” and 22-inch bright-machined aluminum wheels. It adds heated and ventilated “Nirvana” leather seats with multi-contour adjustments, among other luxuries. The Platinum only comes with the extended-range battery, and has a starting MSRP of $96,874.
Is It Still Worth It?
It’s worth asking whether all of these price increases make the F-150 Lightning a less attractive buy than it was for those 200,000 hand-raisers. Likely, some of the people who ordered a Lightning might be put off by the substantial price increases, and will choose to wait until supply chain shortages, and pricing, settle down.
On the other hand, the F-150 Lightning still has a lot going for it. Almost every spec is better than its gasoline counterpart. It’s the fastest F-150 ever, it has even more space for cargo thanks to that spacious front trunk, and its 2,000-pound payload and 10,000-pound towing capacity are impressive. There are also features unique to this all-electric pickup, such as the ability to power tools and other equipment directly from the truck though up to 11 on-board electrical sockets. An intelligent backup power option even lets you power your home for up to three days from a fully-charged battery during power outages.
All of that is before you factor in the lower running costs of the electric F-150 – fuel savings, reduced maintenance requirements, and the federal and regional incentives available to EV purchasers.
The F-150 Lightning may be a lot more expensive than it was a year ago – but the fact remains that it’s still the best F-150. It performs better than any other F-150, and should still be an attractive ownership proposition over the long run.