Keeping things simple has paid off.
The Ford F-150 Lightning has only just arrived, but it is already making waves. It has better range than claimed and is in great demand. Pre-orders reached 100,000 units in June, despite Ford not having released pricing at the time. Later in the month, pricing was leaked and we discovered that the Lightning Pro will start at $39,974 before any credits or rebates while the top Platinum trim will retail at $89,874. By comparison, the regular F-150 starts at just under $30k and the top trim is a little more than $56,000. Usually, electric versions are far more expensive than gasoline or diesel versions, but built to similar spec, the trucks are not far off from each other.
If you were to build a regular F-150 in XLT trim to a similar spec as the Lightning with all-wheel drive, a Supercrew body, the larger infotainment screen option, and the EcoBoost V6 and you'll be spending not much more than $50,000. Something similar happens with other trims too, so how did Ford get the pricing to be so competitive, especially since this is an altogether new vehicle?
According to Autoblog, which spoke with the general manager of Ford's Battery Electric Vehicles division, Darren Palmer, getting the pricing to be competitive with the regular model was Ford's goal from the very beginning. Helping achieve that was the decision to offer the Lightning in one body style, keeping costs down and reinforcing the fact that the Lightning is the best F-150 in terms of performance.
Palmer says that once people see a similar price to the vehicle they already know and love, "the psychological barrier" is gone. To achieve this, Palmer says that the top half of the truck has a scale of 4 million units, meaning that 4 million units of every component (aside from the unique ones) are bought, giving Ford the "best price in the industry". He goes on to say that "The frame at the bottom is all-new with all-new suspension, but it's through the same supplier who makes our other frames. And they've got the facility, so we work with them to produce the all-new frame, but at a reasonable price point, given the fact they build a million frames for us."
As for the unique components like electric drive components and battery packs, these are also bought in large numbers - Palmer says that new SUVs and larger trucks will use similar components in the future. We can't wait to see what else comes from the creation of the Lightning and expect these to be well-priced too.