Ford has made a significant move in the electric vehicle market by dropping the price on its highly anticipated electric pickup truck, the Ford F-150 Lightning. This move comes as the first deliveries of the Lightning have begun, marking a pivotal moment for the auto industry and American drivers.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is not the first electric pickup truck to hit the market. Startup Rivian began deliveries of its R1T electric truck last fall. However, Ford’s entry into the electric truck market is significant due to the F-150’s status as America’s best-selling vehicle for over four decades. With the F-150 now available as an electric option, it has the potential to change the perception of electric vehicles and appeal to a wider range of consumers.
The arrival of electric trucks is crucial for the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. While electric vehicles have gained popularity among luxury buyers, pickups are the leading consumer choice in the United States. To convince drivers that battery-powered trucks can meet their needs, automakers must offer reliable, capable, and affordable electric options.
The Ford F-150 Lightning comes in two variants: the Platinum, starting at $90,874, and the more stripped-down Pro, starting at $39,974. Despite the higher price of the Platinum model, Ford has already sold out of the Lightning for the 2022 model year and has enough reservations to last into the 2025 model year. To meet the high demand, Ford plans to expand its production capacity and speed up the order backlog.
While Ford is currently focused on the F-150 Lightning, the company has dropped hints that it is working on a second electric truck, possibly based on the midsize Ranger. This indicates Ford’s commitment to becoming the top electric pickup maker and competing with other upcoming electric trucks from Chevrolet, Tesla, and Ram.
One of the challenges for electric vehicle manufacturers is the rising cost of raw materials, such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Ford CEO Jim Farley does not expect these costs to ease in the near future, which is why Ford plans to offer lower-cost lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in its electric vehicles. LFP batteries, which do not use nickel or cobalt, will be available in the F-150 Lightning and the Mustang Mach-E crossover.
Despite the challenges and setbacks faced by electric vehicle start-ups like Rivian, there is still strong demand for their products. Rivian has received over 90,000 preorders for its R1-series truck and SUVs, indicating continued interest in electric trucks. While the stock market may have taken a dim view of Rivian’s prospects, the company remains confident in its ability to overcome production hurdles and meet the demand for its vehicles.
The future of electric pickup trucks looks promising, with established automakers like Ford entering the market and offering more affordable options. As the transition to electric vehicles continues, electric pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning have the potential to revolutionize the auto industry and pave the way for a more sustainable future.