Ford raised prices on its battery-electric F-150 Lightning pickup by $7,000 on Lightning Pro, XLT and Lariat models and $6,000 on Platinum trims.
The Lightning Pro, the entry-level pickup, now starts at $46,974, the XLT $59,474, Lariat $74,474 and Platinum $96,874. The new MSRPs take effect on new orders. Previously, the F-150 Lightning started at $39,974. Prices do not include destination charge, taxes, options or federal tax credits.
A separate offer will be sent to Lightning reservation holders who previously received an invitation to order, but chose to extend their reservation because their desired car specification was not yet available.
“Current order holders awaiting delivery are not impacted by these price adjustments,” Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer, Model e, said. “We’ve announced pricing ahead of re-opening order banks so our reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering a Lightning.”
The automaker said the increases were necessary “due to significant material cost increases and other factors.” It’s the first price increase on the F-150 Lightning since its debut in May 2021. More than 4,400 have been sold to date.
Other F-150 Lightning updates
To update the F-150 Lightning, Ford is adding Pro Trailer Hitch Assist, which automatically regulates the Lightning’s steering, throttle, and brakes when hitching a trailer.
Ford isn’t just covering costs, though. It comes as standard with the Platinum trim and some Lariat trims as part of the Tow Technology Package, and is optional on the Pro, XLT, and other Lariat trims.
In addition, the Lightning’s standard battery range grows to 240 miles from 230.
There’s also a Ford Pro Special Service Vehicle Package, now available to fleet buyers on the F-150 Lightning Pro. It adds police-grade heavy-duty cloth front seats, built-in steel intrusion plates and available roof-mounted LED warning beacons.
EV startups pass along rising costs to consumers
Ford is far from alone when it comes to price hikes.
Yesterday, CEO Elon Musk announced the company’s long-delayed Cybertruck, specifically the high-performance, three-motor model, will start at $69,900, not $49,900 as previously announced. It’s unclear what price the base model would fetch. The company had promised a $39,900 starting price, but that now seems doubtful.
The rising tariff comes as Tesla raised prices in march 5% to 10% on all its U.S. offerings, one week after the Model Y Long Range leapt 20% in price and the Model 3 Long Range rose 10.6%. The company increased prices for the most affordable versions of Model 3 and Model Y about a dozen times last year. Tesla’s Musk cited massive price hikes “for raw materials and logistics,” including nickel, lithium, palladium, and platinum.
Tesla’s most affordable vehicle, the Model 3, now starts at $48,440 in the U.S., including destination and order fees, up 21.2% from $38,190 in February 2021.
Also in March, EV startup Rivian increased its R1T pickup’s price 18% to $79,500, while the company’s R1S SUV jumped 21% to $84,500. But unlike Tesla, Rivian introduced lower-priced models that used two motors rather than four, and fewer standard features. This lowered the R1T’s starting price to $67,500, and the RTS to $72,500.
In May, Lucid boosted prices of its Lucid Air sedan by as much as 12%. The Lucid Air starts at $87,500, up from $77,400. The Lucid Air Touring begins at $107,400, up from $95,000, and the Lucid Air Grand Touring fetches $154,000, up from $139,000, and a 9.7% jump.
Legacy automakers’ advantage
While legacy automakers have raised prices, they haven’t been as substantial thanks to their greater economies of scale. But they aren’t still isn’t shielded from increased commodity costs. General Motors said in its first-quarter earnings call that it expected materials to cost the automaker $5 billion in 2022, double what the automaker expected.
So it’s no surprise that GM raised the starting price of its Cadillac Lyriq EV by $3,000 to $62,990 in May. That’s a 7.5% increase. GM also raised the price of its 2022 Chevrolet Bolt by $500 in 2022 to $31,500, but that’s $5,000 below the 2021 model’s price and $6,000 less expensive than the 2017 starting price.
Nissan is keeping price hikes to a minimum on its Leaf EV, with 2023 prices starting at $27,800, and the Leaf Plus stating ay $35,800. Both prices are up $400 for the new model year, a 1.4% rise on the base model and 1.1% on the Leaf Plus.
But average transaction prices continue to set new records as consumers are paying more than ever for a new car. The average price paid for a new electric vehicle increased was 13.7% higher in June than it was a year ago. The average price for a new electric vehicle — more than $66,000, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates — is far closer to luxury prices than mainstream prices. Luxury vehicle buyers paid $66,476 for a new vehicle in June, up $1,097 from May, while new non-luxury vehicles cost $43,942 in June, up $615 from the prior month.
The high prices are stoking inflation. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than twice as many U.S. autos sold in June at or over sticker price as they did prior to the Pandemic. Stoking the higher prices are a lack of cash-back offers. Those and other incentives are at a 10-year low, according to Kelley Blue Book.