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Ford Motor Company is one of the original automakers in America, coming a long way with its current lineup of cars, trucks, and SUVs. The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in America for almost 50 years. And thanks to that, the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning truck came to fruition. But one costly option in the budget lineup of Ford trucks blew all previous versions out of the water. The Platinum trim of the electric Ford pickup truck will cost you $99,519 with no options or upgrades.

When did the budget Ford truck lineup get so pricey?

The budget Ford truck lineup has a range of prices and options, but the F-150 Lightning went from affordable to not-so-affordable quickly. After many price hikes, the electric Ford truck starts at $59,974 for 2023. That means the base model is over $60,000 without adding a single feature or package, which most buyers would do. The Lightning family’s most outrageous Ford pickup truck is the Platinum trim, which starts at $98,074 without any modifications.

Ford F-150 Lightning trim2023 MSRP2023 monthly2022 MSRP
2023 Ford pickup truck pricing

When the 2022 Lightning hit the market, its price was one of the most significant selling points. The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning price started at under $40,000 for the Pro model. This attracted many shoppers, as it still qualified for the $7,500 federal tax credit. With that factored in, this Ford pickup truck was only $32,474. That didn’t last long, though.

The third row in the table above shows the initial pricing for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, showing a $20,000 increase on the base model. The base Pro trim is also totally sold out for 2023, so don’t anticipate paying $59,974 for one. At this point, the only eligible options are the XLT with the standard or extended-range battery and the Lariat with the standard-range battery.

Which model in Ford’s truck lineup is the most expensive?

A black Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum all-electric pickup truck model driving on a country highway
Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum | The Ford Motor Company

The Platinum trim of the Ford Lightning pickup truck starts at $98,074 without any taxes and fees. This trim gets an extended-range battery with more than 300 miles of range and can tow 8,500 pounds. Ford BlueCruise is included and offers hands-free driving on many highways nationwide. The newest version of Ford Co-Pilot360 adds systems like adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assist.

Those who want to take advantage of towing will be happy to know the F-150 Lightning Platinum has the Tow Technology Package. This adds a 360-degree camera, forward sensing system, backup assist, and trailer hitch assist. It also adds a trailer brake controller. Ford also included the Max Trailer Tow Package, which has cooling hardware on the battery and motors to help with heavier loads.

Since the most recent federal tax credit guidelines place an $80,000 threshold on eligible vehicles, the Lightning Platinum price disqualifies it. The extended-range Lariat also exceeds that threshold, so neither vehicle is eligible for the $7,500 tax credit.

The road to greatness has not been easy for the Ford F-150 Lightning

2023 Ford F-150 Lightning trucks, the most costly member of the Ford pickup truck lineup.
Assembled 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning trucks lined up | Getty

Earlier this year, Ford’s truck lineup took a major hit when the batteries started catching fire. The Ford F-150 Lightning battery recall forced the automaker to issue a stop-sale on the truck after some models experienced problems. However, that hasn’t slowed down the popularity of the truck. It has only led to more delays.

According to The Verge, the price increases have slowly led to some folks canceling orders. Tim Bartz, a sales manager at Long McArthur Ford in Salina, said, “Ford advertised a $40,000 electric vehicle, and that attracted a lot of people. Now we’ve seen price increases, and those people are like, ‘I’m out.'” He’s seen about 30% of those initial orders canceled.

A reservation does not equal an order, which meant some potential shoppers saw a $20,000 jump from the initial MSRP. With the Lightning Platinum surpassing $100,000 with only a paint color upgrade, the amount of potential buyers dwindles. Ford’s budget truck lineup seems to shrink every year, and the F-150 Lightning is quickly surpassing an affordable level.


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