It’s been nearly four years since Ford Motor Co. introduced its all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning pickup.
This year, according to electric vehicle (EV) site Elektra, the company has hiked its prices on the F-150 Lightning for the third time this year. The base model now starts at $56,000, which is $15,000 higher than it was earlier in 2022.
Price increases were seen in August and October
Raw Material Soar
Part of the reason for the jump in price is the vehicles are getting more expensive to produce.
BloombergNEF reported earlier this month that rising material and component costs for EV batteries, along with inflation, have led to the first increase in lithium-ion battery packs since 2010, when the research company began tracking the market in EV batteries.
Until recently, improvements in manufacturing efficiency and technology had driven costs down.
Volume-weighted average prices, which are a benchmark average based on both volume and price, increased 7% from last year. Raw material costs were the largest driver of the increase, the report said.
Despite the high cost of the vehicles, Ford reports its EV trucks are in high demand.
Kevin Roberts, sales consultant at Fremont Ford in Sheridan, said he’s had quite a few inquiries about the F-150 Lightning, even if there haven’t been any on the lot.
“We haven’t had any come in for sale, but we’ve had a lot of inquiries about them,” Roberts said.
Roberts said hasn’t put in an order for a unit, so he couldn’t say for sure what the lead times are on one. Typically, lead times on other vehicles are four to eight months, but it depends on the vehicle, Roberts said.
Kellen Whitehead, sales associate at Fremont Motors in Cody, said he also has received questions from people interested in the vehicles. He said it’s a lot more common in the summer, and he hasn’t had any inquiries in the past month.
Whitehead said you can’t buy one directly from a dealership. You have to go online and make a reservation. Last summer, the Ford Motor Co. had a number of the units available to people who had made reservations, but without a reservation you can’t get one.
For those who do drive electric pickups, all Fremont locations have charging stations, Whitehead said.
For the time being, no one can reserve a new Ford F-150 Lightning. On the company’s website, it warns interested buyers that the current model is no longer available for retail order, meaning the company has cut off reservations until the next models arrive.
According to Ford Motor Co. specs, the base model has a range of 240 miles on a single charge, while the high-end model will go 300 miles.
With a home charger kit from Ford, which cost $500 with the purchase of a new vehicle, the vehicles charge from 15% to 100% in eight to 10 hours. They go 0-60 mph in about four seconds and have a towing capacity of 7,700 to 8,600 pounds, depending on the model.
Costly To Build
On his podcast “The Last Optimist” last week, Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, explained that EVs require somewhere between 400% and 7,000% more mined materials to produce than conventional vehicles.
As the costs of minerals climb, all EVs will become more expensive.
While the purchase price of EVs are high, champions of the vehicles say that is made up for with reduced maintenance costs.
Mills said that analyses of the many different types of EVs available on the market have shown this to be partly true, but he said that being newer vehicles, they lack the generational engineering of gas-powered cars.
“A new modern car is extraordinary, reliable and very little has to be done to it,” Mills said.
They also don’t always have a lot of good data to draw from.
Citing this year’s annual Consumer Reports study on 11 EVs, the report found that seven have below average reliability.
The Ford F-150 Lightning was not among the vehicles tested.