Ford F-150 Lightning Is Priced Much Like Gas F-150, But How?


Staff member
Jun 7, 2021

If you configure a gas-powered F-150 to mirror each Lightning trim, you'll be shocked how closely the prices match up.​

When the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning was first revealed, many people were shocked by its $40,000 starting price. Gas-powered pickup trucks aren't cheap, and pricing rises rapidly as soon as you start to choose options and specific configurations, so it makes sense that many folks expected the electric F-150 to be quite pricey.

However, it soon became clear that the low price was for a short-range work truck. The XLT model, which is geared toward typical consumers, starts at around $53,000, which is still impressive, though that price doesn't get you the truck's maximum range. Fully loaded, and with the longest range, the Lightning is priced at north of $90,000.

These prices may not seem comparable to a gas-powered Ford F-150, but if you do your homework, you'll learn that they're pretty close. If you head to Ford's site and build various F-150 trims and make sure the features are comparable to what the Lightning electric pickup truck offers, you'll see that there's almost price parity.

Factor in the $7,500 US federal tax credit, and you should be able to get into an F-150 Lightning for less money than a comparably capable and similarly equipped gas-powered model.

With all of that said, some people are wondering what magic Ford employed that made it possible to pull this off?

Fortunately, the team over at Autoblog had the welcome opportunity to speak with Darren Palmer – general manager of Ford's Battery Electric Vehicles division – at the Chicago Auto Show. Palmer made it clear that the F-150 Lightning's pricing was paramount. He shared:

“But then we work on how we get it for the right price, because I wanted it at a price that is within gas price or nearby. Because then the barrier is gone. The psychological barrier in the mind. Once they’ve flipped, they’ve gone for it, they never want to go back. But getting them to flip, because their current truck works pretty well, it’s hard."
As it turns out, Ford didn't have any magic or special method to secure the Lightning's impressive price. The answer to the above question is much more obvious than that. It comes down to economies of scale. The F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in America, and Ford makes a ton of them. Palmer continued:

“So I knew I had to break that barrier. So the top half of this truck has a scale of 4 million units. That seat, we buy 4 million of. We get the best price in the industry. The front trunk, apart from the unique components, the whole rest of the truck, we get 4 million units.”
Aside from the powertrain, the F-150 Lightning is really not much different from any F-150. And, since it's a body-on-frame vehicle, the process of dropping the existing body on a modified frame with a different powertrain is likely quite simple, especially for Ford.