The deal is fine, but far from the best we've seen.
The Lightning now starts at $46,974, a hefty $7,000 increase over the outgoing $39,974 MSRP. It won't even come close to softening the blow, but Ford signed an agreement with Electrify America (EA) to provide some complimentary charging for retail Lightning owners. Unfortunately, it's far from the best charging deal we've seen.
Lightning drivers will get 250 kilowatt-hours of complimentary charging through EA. This may sound like a decent amount for the uninitiated, but it only amounts to around three "fill-ups" on the Standard Range Battery, which equates to approximately 575 miles.
It's a bit better than the dealer giving you a single tank of gas, but there are far superior charging agreements out there.
This is the same deal that Mach-E customers have received for years, and it's made better thanks to the Lightning's Plug&Charge feature. Simply plug into the EA station, and the truck will automatically pay for the session (or use the complimentary 250 kWh) without needing to scan an app or insert payment.
This is similar to Tesla's Supercharger infrastructure, which lets the car communicate with the charging station without human involvement.
The Lightning can accept charging speeds up to 150 kW, meaning it can add approximately 54 miles of range in 10 minutes on the Extended Range Battery. A 15% to 80% charging session will take around 41 minutes. For reference, the Lightning's Standard Range Battery measures 98 kWh (usable capacity), while the Extended Range is 131 kWh.
"Electrifying the F-150, America's best-selling vehicle, is a game changer for bringing electric vehicles fully mainstream," said Giovanni Palazzo, president and CEO of Electrify America. "We're proud to have the F-150 Lightning and all Ford electric vehicles take advantage of Electrify America's growing coast-to-coast ultra-fast charging network to build range confidence wherever they travel."
This is EA's 18th agreement with an EV manufacturer in the United States, but as we've mentioned, it's far from the best. The Kia EV6, for example, gets 1,000 kWh of complimentary charging, while the Audi e-tron GT gets three whole years of free charging sessions.
It's bad manners to look a gift horse in the mouth, but after raising prices by thousands of dollars, we'd like to see Ford make it up to Lightning customers by offering at least a year's worth of free charging sessions and not just three recharges.
Lightning owners will quickly burn through their 250 kWh and then see how expensive it is to DC fast-charge their massive battery packs.
At least the F-150 will still qualify for the $7,500 tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act.