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Ford Lightning Starting at $52,974 MSRP

A new era of transportation is beginning to reshape the industry and Ford isn’t standing on the sidelines. Their new entry into the pickup market is sure to be shocking. A real strike out pitch. Competitors better bolt now…

Enough with the bad puns. Ford introduced the new Lightning to a blast of excitement with a price starting at $40,000 and a range up to 300 miles, which sounds almost too good to be true. And it is. The XLT model, which is likely going to be the volume seller, starts at $52,974 and has standard 230 mile range. Cool features like Pro Pilot360 Assist 2.0 (similar to Autopilot on Tesla), the on-board power, and extended range battery are optional. You only find this scrolling to the bottom of the infinite page.

I put the pricing up front so people’s expectations on pricing match reality. This is a $53,000 and up truck from the launch with 230 mile range. The $40,000 version will likely come later (no date given) and might not be very well equipped and likely not a crew cab. I love to see that Ford is stepping up their game, but like the $35,000 Model 3, I wouldn’t get too excited just yet.

If you look at average transaction price of the Ford F-150 models in 2018 was up to $47,174 according to KBB. Given Ford buyers still have access to the IRS‘s non refundable tax credit of $7,500 (ask your tax preparer if you can qualify for this), it makes the vehicle inline with the average transaction price of an F-150.

About that range though, is 230 miles really enough? I recommend a site like abetterrouteplanner.com (no affiliation, just a happy user) to find out if it will meet your specific needs. They already have alpha versions of the Lightning entered in their database. Keep in mind that towing a trailer expect half that range, depending on your trailer size.

In my experience with electric cars, you don’t need the same range as a gas car. It is a change of thinking on how you travel. Look at how much you drive on a given day for work. For a more local vehicle 230 miles is likely plenty, keeping in mind there is probably a CCS fast charger within that range (confirm before you buy anything).

It is extremely gratifying when you drive less than 200 miles a day and wake up to a fully charged vehicle. No gas station trips to fill a tank that costs over $100 to fill. It is only on those longer trips do you need to wait for a charge, and you can find that if you are making a weekend trip to the lake that is outside the range of the vehicle, you might stop for a meal and short break while the car takes around 40 minutes to charge.

My personal opinion, is that for a long range vehicle 300 mile EPA range is necessary for easiest travel and makes charging more convenient, and if pulling a heavy trailer long distances I would want 400 to 500 mile EPA range, but 300 mile could be plenty in a smaller area.

That frunk though, that is an amazing addition for a super crew pickup that is used as a family vehicle. One of the large drawbacks for a family pickup is storing stuff in a dry area. Sure, you can install a camper or a tonneau cover, but the frunk is way easier and leaves that tiny bed space for hauling.

Next I will do a comparison of the current electric pickups (or those coming in the next year or so).

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Opinion

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