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The Ford F-150 Lightning could become America’s favorite electric truck. The F-150 Lightning electric truck is incredibly practical. Thanks to the federal electric vehicle tax incentive, it’s also pretty affordable at the base level. Is the Blue Oval’s electric truck actually affordable, or does the real value get introduced at pricier trim levels?

The Ford F-150 Lightning isn’t as affordable as you may think

A gray 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is driving on the road.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning starts at $39,974 for the base model Pro trim. That’s over $9,000 more than a base model F-150. The Ford F-150 has become the most popular American pickup truck despite Ram’s full-size pickup, the Ram 1500 arguably being the better model.

Part of the F-150’s overall appeal is that the pickup is an affordable workhorse that is reliable over time. The F-150 Lightning seems to offer even more utility, but how much are drivers willing to pay for that utility? Talks of a recession could mean that consumers are budgeting carefully, and a new EV may not be in the cards for millions of Americans. Especially when that EV is on its way to losing tax credit eligibility.

That’s right. The Blue Oval, like Toyota, has sold enough EVs and PHEVs to begin the phasing down of its tax incentive eligibility soon. In plain English, that means that F-150 Lightning buyers will soon only be able to claim $3,750 of the full $7,500 tax credit after Ford hits a sales threshold that the government has set . That incentive amount will continue to decrease until it is phased out entirely.

Buyers who reserved one of the electric trucks from the first wave of F-150 Lightnings will be able to redeem the full $7,500 tax incentive. This brings the base model’s price closer to $32,474. Soon, buyers will pay close to $36,000 for the same model.

The best F-150 Lightning features are exclusive to higher trim levels

A red 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

Car and Driver claims that the F-150 Lightning Pro base model lacks many of the creature comforts that come standard in other trims. The popular automotive publication recommends the XLT trim.

The Ford F-150 Lightning XLT starts at $52,974. The full tax incentive brings its price closer to $45,474. Once the incentive is phased down, buyers will pay much closer to $50K for the same electric vehicle.

The XLT comes standard with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It includes a 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The Lightning XLT includes cruise control, fade-to-off interior lighting, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking.

The F-150 Lightning XLT features heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and Ford’s Signature Front Lighting. Some of the best F-150 Lightning features skip right past the base model.

Is the base model Ford F-150 Lightning Pro worth the money?

A red 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

Ford F-150 Lightning Trims Are Already Sold-Out Before Production Began

The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is a great electric pickup truck, but it’s far from the best F-150 Lightning trim. Ford has created one of the best trucks on the market. Some of its premium features like 9.6kW Pro Power Onboard change the entire ownership experience.

The Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is worth its price, but other trim levels like the XLT provide more value. Is the F-150 Lightning really affordable? It isn’t overpriced for the moment, but time isn’t on your side if you want the largest tax incentive possible.