The Ford F-150 is the most popular truck on the road, and the most popular personal vehicle in America. Last week, Ford showed off its newest model, the F-150, Lightning edition. It’s the company’s first electric-powered truck. And while it’s not the first EV truck to be announced, it’s already sending a jolt through the auto industry.
The F-150 Lightning will start at $40,000, and that entry-level model will have a 230-mile range.
Sean O’Kane is a senior reporter for The Verge. He told Texas Standard the $40,000 starting price is an important part of the story.
“That price tag is really attractive, and I think a lot of us were, if not surprised, at least a little refreshed to see that they did a lot of work to make such an aggressive price tag,” O’Kane said.
Higher-priced models offer larger batteries and a longer driving range. O’Kane says Ford is also touting the ability to power a home – for a short time – with the F-150 Lighting’s battery.
O’Kane says that while the move to build electric vehicles is being driven by government policies that favor them, and customer’s concern about climate change, building them will also eventually offer carmakers an opportunity to increase profit margins because they use fewer parts than vehicles powered by gasoline engines. And O’Kane says people are willing to pay more for pickup trucks than they are for sedans or small SUVs, giving car companies more incentive to develop new trucks.
O’Kane says the F-150 Lightning isn’t quite a tipping point along the timeline of electric vehicle development and adoption, but it is an important milestone. Despite its attractive starting price, the F-150 Lightning will still be a premium product for most buyers.
“I think the real tipping point is going to be getting something to people that is truly affordable,” O’Kane said. “So many people who buy trucks add options and things, and so you’re almost never getting the base price.”