Electric Vehicle Savings: Here’s How Long It Takes to Break Even with $5 Gas Prices (Updated)

Electric Vehicle Savings: Here’s How Long It Takes to Break Even with $5 Gas Prices (Updated)

We hear it all the time: electric cars save you money. Electricity is cheaper than gas, EVs require less maintenance, and incentives abound. However, there’s no hiding the fact that electric vehicles are expensive, especially the models with the best range, performance and charge rates. To shed light on the reality of electric vehicle savings, we dug deep into the data. How long does it take to break even when buying an EV? We were surprised with what we found.

Five Examples of EVs Versus Combustion Competitors

Tesla Model Y Versus BMW X4

Tesla Model Y savings
The best-selling EV in America, the Tesla Model Y. Check out our full review.

The X4 is one of the most direct competitors to the 2022 Tesla Model Y, the best selling electric vehicle in America. Although Tesla models no longer qualify for the federal EV tax credit, the cost of the BMW X4 and high fuel consumption make this an interesting comparison.

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
BMW X4 xDrive30i$51,800--24 MPG413 miles5 min$86.00$3123$228
Tesla Model Y Long Range$62,990+$11,190State and local only3.8 mi/kWh (125 MPGe)330 miles20 to 30 min$10.50$477$774 years

Ford F-150 Lightning Versus F-150 3.5 Liter 4WD

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning
F-150 Lightning electric truck (full review here)

Pickup trucks get the worst fuel economy. It’s just a matter of physics; the shape of a truck is not aerodynamic, and they’re often heavy. The F-150 Lightning weighs 35% more than the gas-powered F-150. So you would think that the time to break even would be shorter when buying an electric truck over the combustion equivalent.

This side-by-side comparison highlights the importance of price parity for EVs. When EVs are similarly priced to ICE vehicles, the cost of ownership savings are crystal clear. But what about when the electric version costs over $25,000 more out the door? Have a look for yourself. 

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Ford F-150 Platinum 4WD 3.5$62,070--20 MPG520 miles5 min$130.00$3750$228
Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum$90,874+$28,804Fed, state and local2.1 mi/kWh (70 MPGe)320 miles45 min$18.34$860$779.5 yrs (7 yrs with tax credit)

Toyota bZ4X Versus Toyota RAV4 Hybrid 

The 2023 Toyota bZ4X (full review here)

Toyota sells nearly half a million RAV4s every year. Will things change now that Toyota has launched its first fully-electric vehicle? The all-new bZ4X lacks the range and charging speed to compete with the best in 2022’s electric segment, but how does it stack up to the popular RAV4 hybrid? How long would it take to break even when paying a premium for the electric bZ4X?

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Toyota RAV4 XLE Hybrid$30,545--40 MPG580 miles5 min$72.50$1,875$228
Toyota bZ4X XLE FWD$42,000+$11,455Fed, state and local3.5 mi/kWh (119 MPGe)252 miles1 hour$10.19$606$778 years (2.7 yrs with tax credit)

Subaru Solterra Versus Subaru Forester

2023 Subaru Solterra
2023 Subaru Solterra EV (full review here)

Subaru’s first EV is built on the same electric platform as the new Toyota bZ4X. Subaru is known for being Earth-friendly, but is the new Solterra EV friendly to your wallet? With range and charging figures more akin to 2015’s standards than today’s best EVs, the Subaru Solterra is off-road capable, but a tough sell for those who truly venture off the beaten path. 

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Subaru Forester base$25,395--29 MPG481 miles5 min$83.00$2,588$228
Subaru Solterra Premium$46,220+$20,825Fed, state and local3.1 mi/kWh (104 MPGe)228 miles1 hour$9.97$677$7710 years (6.5 yrs with tax credit)

Hyundai IONIQ 5 Versus Hyundai Santa Fe

Charging 2022 IONIQ 5
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 EV (full review here)

The Hyundai IONIQ 5 won big at the 2022 World Car Awards, but is it a winner for your wallet? It all depends on how much you drive, and how long you plan to keep the vehicle. The Hyundai Santa Fe just received a total makeover, and its price remains much lower than the IONIQ 5’s. Still, EVs are super efficient and electricity is cheap. Just how long would it take to break even when buying an IONIQ 5 EV instead of the more affordable Santa Fe crossover?

Disclaimer: I own a Hyundai IONIQ 5 Limited AWD, and it’s awesome.

ModelMSRPPrice DifferenceIncentivesFuel EconomyRangeTime to RefuelCost to Refuel ($5.00/gal or $0.14 per kWh)Annual Fuel Cost (15,000 miles)Average Annual Maintenance CostTime to Break Even
Hyundai Santa Fe SEL$27,875--26 MPG489 miles5 min$94.00$2,883$228
Hyundai IONIQ 5 SEL RWD$45,900+$18,005Fed, state and local3.4 mi/kWh (114 MPGe)303 miles20 to 30 min$10.15$502$777 years (4.2 yrs with tax credit)

Electric Vehicle Savings: Other Factors to Consider

Kia EV6 bidirectional charging
2022 Kia EV6

Incentives

In many states and localities, thousands of dollars of additional incentives are available. Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and California are just some of the states with very generous EV incentives. State and local incentives can reduce the time to break even considerably. For example, in Delaware, buyers of the Hyundai IONIQ 5 will break even versus the Santa Fe in just 3.5 years with the federal EV tax credit and state rebates factored in. 

Conversely, for car buyers who can’t take advantage of the federal EV tax credit or any state incentives, it will take many more years to reap the full savings of switching to an electric vehicle. In the case of the new Ford F-150 Lightning, it could take up to 8 years to break even without any incentives, assuming 15,000 miles per year of driving. 

Check this out >>> The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center’s DSIRE database is the BEST one-stop resource for all EV incentives. Plus, you’ll see what solar power incentives are available in your area too.

Miles Driven

The difference between driving 10,000 miles per year and 20,000 miles per year is massive when it comes to realizing the savings of driving an EV. The average American driver travels about 14,000 miles per year in their vehicle. Simply put, long-distance commuters, frequent travelers and fleet operators will see the greatest cost savings of going electric. 

With the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, a driver who travels 15,000 miles per year and can take advantage of the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit should expect to break even versus a combustion F-150 in 7 years. However, if they drive 25,000 miles per year, the break even period narrows to just 4 years. After that, they will be saving roughly $4,000 every year in fuel and maintenance costs. Clearly, EVs make more sense as a long-term purchase. 

Maintenance

The maintenance figures included in this cost comparison is sourced from We Predict, a Michigan-based data analysis company. They dug deep into automotive maintenance data and found that during the first three years of vehicle ownership, the average annual maintenance for an electric vehicle is just $77. And based on personal experience, that’s likely for new tires (EVs are MUCH heavier). 

During the same period, combustion vehicles average $228 in annual maintenance, with most of the costs in the first few years going towards oil changes and the like. 

We may be underestimating the maintenance savings associated with going electric when comparing luxury brands. For example, BMW is notorious for costly maintenance. Opting for a Tesla Model Y over a BMW will likely result in even greater maintenance savings, and therefore a reduced break-even period. 

Gas Prices!

ev charging station

As of early June 2022, the average gas price in the United States is $4.87 per gallon. In California, it’s $6.34. Nevada, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Illinois all have gas prices much higher than the national average. In these states, EV drivers will see even greater fuel savings. 

Let’s take a closer look at an example of someone purchasing a Hyundai IONIQ 5 in California. We’ll assume that the consumer qualifies for the full $7,500 EV tax credit and the $2,500 state rebate for a zero-emissions vehicle. They drive 15,000 miles per year. At gas prices of $6.34 per gallon, the break even point for the IONIQ 5 versus the Hyundai Santa Fe arrives in just 2.5 years, versus 4 years for the rest of the nation. That figure includes the 59% higher residential electricity rates in California. 

YAA’s Take

What can we learn from this EV cost of ownership comparison? The specifics of your situation matter. 

  • What combustion vehicle are you considering in addition to an EV? 
  • What’s the fuel economy for each option? 
  • Do you qualify for the full federal EV tax credit?
  • Are there local or state incentives in your area? 
  • How many miles do you drive each year?
  • How long do you plan to keep the vehicle?

These are the most important questions to ask when deciding whether or not it makes sense to buy an EV in 2022. Have questions? Let us know in the comments, or better yet join the YAA family at joinyaa.com/community. You can also reach me at justin@joinyaa.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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Truck Prices In 2022: MSRP Increases Across The Board

Truck Prices In 2022: MSRP Increases Across The Board

2022 Chevrolet Silverado price increase

Trucks are somehow an appreciating asset in 2022. Not a single truck is getting more affordable. With inflation, supply shortages, and transportation backlogs, truck inventory remains at record lows in the US. Here’s just how much truck prices have increased in 2022.

Be sure to bookmark this page and check back for updates!

May 2022 Truck Price Increases

Chevrolet Silverado HD

The 2022 model year Chevrolet Silverado HD has seen FOUR price increases since going on sale last year. GM Authority details the latest Silverado price increases:

The latest price increase for the 2022 Chevy Silverado HD is a flat $1,000 for all trim levels and configurations, including both the 2022 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, and the 2022 Chevy Silverado 3500HD. The Destination Freight Charge also increased from $1,695 to $1,795. As it stands now, the least-expensive 2022 Chevy Silverado HD model is the Silverado 2500HD WT Regular Cab / Long Bed with 2WD and the 6.6L V8 L8T gasoline engine, priced at $41,295, while the most-expensive model is the Silverado 3500HD High Country Crew Cab / Long Bed DRW with 4WD and the 6.6LV8 L5P turbodiesel Duramax engine, priced at $81,345.”

See how much every variant of the Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD costs now here.

Rivian R1T

Just a few months after the first deliveries crawled out of Rivian’s factory in Normal, Illinois, the electric truck maker fumbled a sudden price increase. All trims of the Rivian R1T saw prices increase, and some specs are up by 20%. The most ‘affordable’ R1T, originally $67,500, now costs $79,500. The catch is that the base spec of the R1T is not even close to being available. Rivian produced 2,500 electric trucks in the first quarter of the year, and delivered 1,200 of them.

Rivian R1T

All R1Ts being delivered in 2022 are the quad-motor Adventure package with the large battery pack. If you’re lucky enough to take delivery this year, this R1T configuration costs $85,000.

This is Rivian’s delivery timeline as of Spring 2022:

Base Models See Modest Price Increases

Silverado price increase
2024 Silverado EV WT base model

Is there any such thing as an affordable truck any more? Affordability is in the eye of the beholder, however the last few months have raised the bar even further. Here’s the latest data on truck MSRPs for base trims:

The best-selling truck in America, the Ford F-150, has seen a 2.6% increase in base MSRP since December 2021. The F-150 now starts at $29,990. The only truck to fare better (for the consumer) is the Toyota Tacoma, which has gone up 2.1% to a current MSRP of $26,700. 

On the other end of the spectrum, General Motors has sent truck prices through the roof. Four months ago, a 2021 Silverado 1500 started at $29,300. A few price hikes later, the base 2022 Silverado now costs $33,800 before destination fees. That’s a staggering 15% price jump in a few short months. 

GM’s massive price increases for the 2022 Silverado are especially shocking considering that GM posted record profits in 2021, despite selling 500,000 fewer vehicles than the year before.

The 2022 Nissan Titan now has a base MSRP of $38,310, up 4.8% since late last year. The Ram 1500 has seen a similar price hike, now listing for $33,975 at a minimum. Good luck finding one for MSRP.

In fact, let us know about your dealership experience, good or bad!

Luxury And High-End Trucks See The Biggest Price Hikes

GMC Sierra price increase

If you thought the base models were bad, wait until you see how expensive fully-loaded trucks have gotten. Check out the data for yourself:

Yes, a 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor now starts at $68,675 (over $70,000 after taxes and fees) after Ford bumped the price by 7% this year. That almost makes the F-150 Lariat look like a steal at $48,140. It’s actually Ram that takes the trophy for biggest MSRP jump in 2022. Following a 9.1% price increase, the Ram 1500 TRX now starts at $76,780. The GMC Sierra AT4X has seen the smallest price increase, but it’s still an expensive truck at an MSRP $77,395.

Are There Any Affordable Trucks?

The short answer is no. If you’re looking to buy new, you’ll have to find a Ford Maverick, Ford Ranger, Hyundai Santa Cruz or maybe even a Tacoma at MSRP (somehow) to stay around $25,000 for a new truck. Most are far beyond $35,000 once all fees are tallied. 

Bear in mind that we’re talking about MSRPs here. These are merely suggestions by the manufacturer. You know as well as I do that buying any popular vehicle at sticker price in 2022 is like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s technically possible, but quite rare. And no one will believe you. 

Dealer markups are one of the many novel trends of the past few pandemic years that no one’s excited about. Except for dealers of course. Jalopnik reported on six-figure Ram TRXs and Ford Mavericks going for fifty grand.

Dealers are raking in the profits every time a shopper agrees to pay over MSRP for any truck. Don’t believe me? American dealerships reported all-time record profits in 2021. You know, the year with the worst inventory shortages ever. As one dealer told me, they’re just ‘dying for inventory’. Approach dealerships with caution, truck buyers.

YAA Car Search Now Shows In-Transit Status!

In 2022 (and beyond), many car buyers will be shopping for vehicles that are still sailing the high seas or catching a lift from the plant to the dealership. How do you know which vehicles are in transit and which are on the lot? YAA’s Car Search is the only car buying search engine that shows you if a particular vehicle is in transit. Try it out for yourself!

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Electric Vehicle Sales Double in 2021. Can Chargers Keep Up?

Electric Vehicle Sales Double in 2021. Can Chargers Keep Up?

2023 Ford F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

Electric vehicles now make up 9% of the global market, and 4.5% of American auto sales. Estimates vary, but many analysts expect electric vehicle sales to reach 40% market share in 2030. Will their crystal ball prove correct? It’s now looking possible. New data from the International Energy Agency beat previous forecasts by 26%. In 2020, Loren McDonald of EVAdoption predicted that electric vehicle sales would make up 3.55% of the US market in 2021. With the official tally now coming in a full percentage point higher, the electric momentum is accelerating. When the chip shortage finally ends, the production of EVs will likely be prioritized by automakers. Considering the massive half-trillion dollar investments OEMs have committed to electrifying their lineups, I’m sure they’re happy to see that there’s a growing market for their future products.

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Tesla Supercharger Installations Can’t Keep Up With Incredible Demand

2022 Tesla Model Y
2022 Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s pioneering Supercharger network of DC fast chargers remains the industry standard for electric vehicle charging. With 3,476 locations, hassle-free plug-and-charge and consistent reliability, only Electrify America has come remotely close to what Tesla offers. For the past decade, Superchargers have been known for convenience and accessibility, but a few pending developments could change that. Here’s what we’re watching:

Sales Continue to Outpace Charger Installations

Tesla continues to dominate electric vehicle sales in America and abroad. In 2021, Tesla year-over-year sales grew 87% to 936,172 vehicles globally. In the United States, Cox Automotive estimates that Tesla delivered 352,472 vehicles to customers. Tesla’s 2021 sales were enough to (probably) unseat BMW as luxury sales leader in the US.

In 2021, Tesla installed 8,221 new Superchargers at 912 stations around the world. This represents 35% growth in just one year, a huge accomplishment for the EV leader. However, will it be enough? Sales have been outpacing Supercharger growth for years now. The vast majority of charging stations never see a crowd, but that could change soon as Tesla’s zero-hassle sales model and superior technology have drawn more buyers to the brand.

Tesla Opens Up Some Chargers to Non-Tesla EVs

2022 Tesla Model 3
2022 Tesla Model 3

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confused Tesla owners and thrilled non-Tesla owners when he shared the company’s intentions to open up some Superchargers to non-Tesla cars. In early 2022, several Supercharger locations in France, Norway and the Netherlands are open to all. If open access spreads to North America, Superchargers will see a flood of traffic as Ford Mustang Mach-E’s, Volkswagen ID.4’s, Hyundai IONIQ 5’s and dozens of other models gain access to America’s largest fast charging network. 

Electrify America Races to Catch Up

Something positive came out of Volkswagen’s dieselgate debacle. As part of a 2016 settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, VW was ordered to spend $2 billion on something that would clean up the air. The result was the birth of Electrify America.

Electrify America Hyundai IONIQ5
2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5

After installing their first chargers in 2018, Electrify America now has 3,500 charging stations at 800 locations around the US. The big difference between Electrify America and Tesla Superchargers is accessibility. Any electric vehicle can pull up to an EA station to charge. Only Tesla models are allowed to charge at Superchargers, except for select Superchargers in Europe that are open to all.

Electrify America has its faults though. Drivers often encounter out-of-order chargers, and most vehicles are not yet compatible with the convenient plug-and-charge capability that you’ll find at Tesla Superchargers. Reports indicate that reliability is improving at Electrify America, and several automakers say their new EVs will have seamless plug-and-charge capability. 

What Does the Future Hold?

Tesla’s record growth is great news for the automaker, but the picture is more complicated for Tesla owners. Tesla Superchargers in California and East Coast hotspots already fill up during peak travel. You could argue that gas stations do too, but waiting in line to plug in and then wait another 20 minutes to charge is not the same thing. 

Fortunately, charging is about to get a lot easier in America. Public and private partnerships are currently designing a National Charging Network that will bring charging to remote locations and more American highways. The Supercharger network will continue to grow, as evidenced by the hundreds of ‘coming soon’ locations just added to the Tesla Supercharger map

Some gas stations are getting into the charging game. Why don’t more add DC fast chargers to their parking lots? DC fast charger installation is expensive. We’re talking over $100,000 in most cases. Public-private partnerships appear set on helping businesses overcome the prohibitive costs of installing chargers. That would certainly benefit a rapidly electrifying nation of drivers.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Better yet, connect with auto experts and fellow car enthusiasts at joinyaa.com/community, where we work for YOU. 

The 2022 F-150 Lighting: Pricing, Specs and Why This Is the Swiss Army Knife of Trucks

The 2022 F-150 Lighting: Pricing, Specs and Why This Is the Swiss Army Knife of Trucks

2022 F-150 Lightning

Over the past year, electric trucks have gone from nothing to the most-watched vehicle segment on the planet. Back in the pre-pandemic good ol’ days of 2019, electric trucks were relegated to the concepts of startup fantasies like Rivian, Nikola and Bollinger. Tesla’s Cybertruck was the first to be unveiled in November of 2019, however it’s still at least a year away from production. In 2022, buyers have two to choose from: The $100,000+ GMC Hummer EV, and the mid-size luxury-oriented Rivian R1T, which starts over $70,000. Electric trucks have remained out of reach for the average consumer. 

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This is where Ford has a chance to really make a splash in the market. With the best-selling F-150 being the unofficial symbol of working America, it’s only natural that the F-150 gets the honor of being the first electric truck for the masses. Even better, it’s going to offer features and utility that no truck has ever seen before. The anticipation is building.

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning may not turn heads like the Cybertruck, but the Lightning’s capabilities are astounding. What exactly makes the F-150 Lightning so innovative, and will it overtake Tesla as the face of electric trucks?

Here’s What Stands Out With the F-150 Lightning

  • It’s the most powerful F-150 ever
  • You can power tools, other EVs and even your entire home with the truck
  • The Lightning looks normal, but features state-of-the-art technology
  • The front trunk is bigger than most regular trunks
  • 320 miles of range
  • 2022 F-150 Lightning pricing won’t break the bank

The 2022 F-150 Lightning Reimagines Truck Capability

2023 F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum.

Look, I get it. Most traditional truck buyers don’t follow the latest and greatest in the EV space. What does matter, however, is the utility of the truck they drive. Can it get the job done reliably?

Ford’s most anticipated electric vehicle is not the Mustang Mach-E. It’s not an electric Explorer. It’s without a doubt the 2022 F-150 Lightning electric truck. For well over 30 years, the F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in America. Now that Ford expects 40% to 50% of its global sales to be fully electric by 2030, how does the F-150 fit into the picture?

Ford has made it clear that they intend to entice traditional truck buyers into an electric F-150, while also attracting new consumers to the brand. So far, it seems to be working like a charm. As of January 2022, Ford has 200,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning in the books. This truck hasn’t even entered series production yet and it’s already sold out until 2024.

Light Bars and Typical F-150 Looks

2022 F-150 Lightning

On the exterior, the Lightning looks a lot like a combustion-powered F-150. The distinguishing features are daytime-running light bars across the top of the front grille and across the tailgate in the back. The Lightning also has aero wheel options to improve efficiency for maximum range. They don’t look silly like some aero wheels do. Other than that, you really have to stare at it to notice the Lightning is any different. Three new faux grille options are there for looks. With an EV, the grille merely protects the spacious front trunk. 

The charge port right in front of the driver’s door doubles as a name plate. Ford intentionally designed the exterior to appeal to traditional truck buyers. Not everyone wants a spaceship.

Interior: A Huge Touchscreen Tops Off a Classic Interior

2023 F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum.

The F-150 Lightning is only offered in crew cab configurations. The interior dimensions are the same as the gas-powered F-150, but that’s a compliment. Plenty of space up front, and lots in the back. Up front, the biggest difference is the 15.5” infotainment screen. It’s only in the higher trims of the Lightning for now, but it’s probably a sign of what’s to come for the whole lineup. Everything from drive modes to towing configurations and entertainment is all accessed through the huge vertical screen. Climate controls are always fixed at the bottom of the display, although it’s still a touch-screen feature. Sorry physical button enthusiasts!

2023 F150 Lightning Pro
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro.

Utility reigns supreme in the F-150 Lightning electric truck. The center console folds down into a work desk, but that’s a feature that combustion-powered versions also have. The rear seats offer the same generous space that you’ll find in the gas equivalent, including under-seat storage. Available Max Recline Seats offer nearly 180 degrees of recline. Perhaps a charging nap is in your future?

American-Made Batteries Power Dual Electric Motors

The 2022 F-150 Lightning is powered by dual electric motors, each of which could fit inside a duffel bag. The electric motors are powered by large lithium-ion batteries produced through a joint venture with SK Innovation in Georgia. American-made batteries for American-made EVs! That’s not as common as you’d think. 

The F-150 Lightning’s battery lives under the floor of the truck, where it’s out of the way and secured in a waterproof casing surrounded by crash-absorption protection. Ford says the battery was designed with extreme weather and abuse in mind. It can handle off-road adventure like a champ. Innovative thermal management keeps the battery at optimum temperatures. 

2022 F-150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning.

The base ‘standard range’ battery is a 98 kilowatt-hour (kWh) usable lithium-ion battery. Stepping up to the extended range configuration gets you a 131 kWh battery pack built from the same chemistry. This extended-range battery offers more towing, a lot more performance, but less payload. Why less payload? The bigger battery is much heavier. The F-150 Lightning weighs 6,500 pounds!

The base standard range battery supplies the two motors with 425 HP and 775 lb-ft of torque. The extended range battery opens up to 565 HP and the same 775 lb-ft of torque. Notably, four-wheel drive is standard across all trims. One motor is located at the front axle, and another is in the rear. Both the battery and motors get metal skid plates that shield the underbody from impacts, water and the elements for durability. 

Range 

2023 Ford F150 Lightning
F-150 Lightning offers two battery options: a standard-range battery with 230 miles of EPA-estimated range and an extended-range battery with 320 miles of EPA-estimated range.

The official EPA numbers are out! The standard range battery is rated for 230 miles on a charge, and the available extended range battery is good for 320 miles. The final EPA numbers exceed what Ford had previously estimated. Ford engineers have fueled rumors that the Lightning’s range estimates are calculated with 1,000 pounds of payload included. With an empty bed, the F-150 Lightning may go even further on a single charge. 

Drive Modes

Ford offers four drive modes: normal, sport, off-road, and haul. Additional settings include one-pedal driving (a Tesla favorite) and the option to lock the differential with the touch of a button. Why would you want a sport mode on your F-150? The Lightning launches to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds!

Fast-Charging Capability, At Home and On the Road

2023 F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum, Lariat, XLT.

More than 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home. Ford is the only automaker to offer an 80-amp charge station as standard equipment. At home, the F-150 Lightning adds an average range of 30 miles per charging hour, fully charging an extended-range truck from 15% to 100% percent in about eight hours. Keep in mind that the truck charges overnight while you’re sound asleep. EV owners typically wake up each morning with a full battery to start the day. 

At a public DC fast charger like you’ll find at Electrify America, The 2022 F-150 Lightning can accept 150 kilowatt charging speeds. This is below what the upcoming Silverado EV offers, but it’s still decent. If the charging curve is above average, 150 kW won’t be a problem at all. At a DC fast charger, the extended-range F-150 Lightning is targeted to gain up to 54 miles of range in 10 minutes. In 41 minutes, Ford says it can charge from 15% to 80%.

Charging an electric truck is A LOT more affordable than fueling up at the gas station. Fuel savings just might justify the time it takes to charge. At Electrify America, a typical charge from 5% to 90% (adding 255 miles of range) will only cost about $35. The real savings are in your garage. At home, where most charging is done, the same charge to 90% would only cost $15 at average residential electric rates. Learn more about how much it costs to charge an electric vehicle here

Towing, Payload and Storage

On the surface, the bed of the F-150 Lightning is pretty standard. It’s the usual 5’5” bed with a power tailgate. Sadly, it lacks the magical pass-through feature of the upcoming 2023 Chevrolet Silverado EV. Upon closer inspection, there are some very useful gadgets. The side of the bed includes several household 120-volt outlets and a more powerful 240-volt outlet. Ford says the Lightning can power worksite tools for days without having a big impact on the state of charge. This really highlights the immense energy capacity of the 98 to 131 kWh battery, and how comparatively little energy small appliances and tools consume.

2023 Ford F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro.

How does towing or hauling around a bed full of materials impact range? Just like with any gas or diesel-powered truck, fuel efficiency decreases with towing and higher payloads. Ford’s engineers thought of this, and they’ve used the Lightning’s electrical infrastructure to offer an impressive remedy. Using the scales built into the truck and a fancy computer, real-time range estimates are constantly calculated based on payload and towing demands. The gauge cluster displays an accurate estimate of how much range you have in any given scenario. No need to do calculations in your head.

With the 230-mile standard battery, payload capacity is 2,000, and towing is up to 7,700 pounds. The extended range battery opens up towing to 10,000 pounds, but the added weight of the battery lowers payload to 1,800 pounds. The Lightning weighs about 1,000 pounds more than regular F-150s.

The F-150 Lightning has a massive 14 cubic-foot front trunk. Finally, a truck with a trunk! There are four power outlets providing 2.4 kW of power and two USB ports, all within the front trunk. The floor has a drain too. You can even charge tools in the front trunk while driving the vehicle. 

Power Your Tools, Appliances or Entire Home With the Lightning

Pro Power Onboard is Ford’s vehicle-to-load system that produces . Power reserve functions allow the driver to automatically cut off power supply once the battery state of charge drops to a predetermined level.

An even bigger deal is Ford Intelligent Backup Power. With the proper setup and accessories, the F-150 Lightning automatically kicks in to power your house when the power goes out. Once power is restored, the truck automatically reverts to charging its battery. Ford says that based on 30kWh of electricity usage in the average American home, F-150 Lightning with extended-range battery can power an entire home for up to three days, or as long as 10 days with power rationing. THIS could be the feature that wins over the masses. 

2023 Ford F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro.

Wait, that’s not all. Ford has more tricks up its sleeve than a dealership F&I manager:

In the future, Ford will introduce Ford Intelligent Power, which can use the truck to power homes during high-cost, peak-energy hours while taking advantage of low-cost overnight rates to charge the vehicle in time for your morning drive. This can help save money on electricity that powers your vehicle and home while also taking pressure off the grid in peak usage times.”

You heard here first, folks. You’ll soon have the ability to buy a truck that can lower your entire utility bill. Considering that this feature alone would save a ton on monthly bills, charging the F-150 Lightning will basically pay for itself! That could be HUGE savings for those accustomed to paying $60-$80 for every tank of gas.

Tech In the F-150 Lightning

2023 Ford F150 Lightning
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Lariat.

The Lightning can learn all about your hauling habits. The truck recognizes which trailer you’re hauling, combines that with info from the onboard scale, and provides immediate updates to driving range and power.  

The F-150 Lightning has games! Tesla popularized in-cabin gaming, and now Ford has seen the appeal of a lighthearted, fun-yet-functional vehicle experience. Automakers are all about ‘experience’ these days.

The gauge cluster is conveniently located within the line of sight for the driver. It displays useful information about real-time battery conditions, motor performance and power distribution. In the Lightning, everything is customizable.

2023 Ford F150 Lightning

Does Ford want to spy on you? Probably not. However, two driver-facing cameras are built into the dash. These are actually safety monitors for Blue Cruise, Ford’s advanced driver assistance technology. Blue Cruise enables hands-free driving on divided highways, as long as your eyes are on the road. This is wading into level 2 autonomy, but Ford has more ambitious driver assistance plans in the works.

There’s also a 360-degree camera for parking assistance. Exterior zone lighting lets you illuminate precisely what you need to see in the dark.

F-150 Lightning Pricing and Trim Options

The work and fleet-oriented Pro edition starts at $39,974. The Pro includes bare-bones manual vinyl seats and no frills. Most consumers will start their shopping at the $52,974 XLT trim. This is where most of the desired features and comforts enter the scene. A step up will land you at the $67,474 Lariat. Both the XLT and Lariat come with the 230-mile standard range battery unless you opt for the extended range battery. On top of the spec sheet is the Platinum. For $90,874, you can get an extended range battery, 22-inch bright machined aluminum grille, the larger (15.5-inch) touchscreen, upgraded sound, and both heated and ventilated seats. Check out the major differences below:

2022 f-150 lightning pricing
These are the base configurations for each F-150 Lightning trim option.

Notice that the soon-to-be-popular XLT trim listed at a starting MSRP of $52,974 is actually a $72,474 truck in disguise. If you want to step up from the 230 mile standard range battery to the bigger battery, going for the XLT just doesn’t make sense for most buyers. Ford clearly wants buyers to take the dive for the Lariat or Platinum trims. Kind of sneaky if you ask me.

2022 F-150 Lightning

No Dealer Markups? F-150 Pricing Under the Spotlight

Ford recently sent a memo regarding F-150 Lightning pricing to their dealers, and it was swiftly leaked online. It reveals that the automaker intends to preserve what little is left of positive dealership experiences. The memo cuts right to the chase. “It has come to our attention that a limited number of dealerships are interacting with customers in a manner that is negatively impacting customer satisfaction and damaging to the Ford Motor Company brand and Dealer Body reputation.” Wow, Ford actually wants their customers to have a pleasant dealership experience. 

This memo brings up a key concern about F-150 Lightning pricing. Will dealers use unprecedented demand to try and justify outrageous additional dealer markups? Clearly, Ford corporate is intent on getting ahead of the problem before it snowballs out of control and tarnishes the brand for hundreds of thousands of new Ford customers. Find out more about this secret memo and what YAA advocates think about it here

Incentives

Does the Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck qualify for the EV tax credit? Yes! The federal EV tax credit slashes up to $7,500 off of the Ford F-150 Lightning pricing. Lawmakers are considering revisions to the EV tax credit that could possibly add to the discount. Right now, buyers receive the incentive when they file taxes. Proposed changes to the law would make the discount effective at the point of sale. 

I Want One! Where Can I Buy a Ford F-150 Lightning?

2022 F-150 Lightning
All-new, all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning revealed at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, on May 19, 2021.

Sadly, there’s no easy answer. If you were among the hundreds of thousands to place a pre-order back in early 2021, you just might receive your F-150 Lightning by the end of 2022. Most current reservation holders will receive theirs in 2023. Ford is doubling down on production capacity due to high demand, so if you get in line soon, maybe you’ll also get your truck before 2024. For the time being, reservations are closed so that existing deposit-holders can place their official orders. Soon, Ford says they will open reservations back up to the masses. Ford currently has about 200,000 reservations in the books. With the doubled production capacity, Ford will be making about 150,000 per year. Do the math, and that means most F-150 Lightning buyers will have to wait until 2024. 

If you’re ready to buy an electric truck now, there are only two options with immediate availability. The popular Rivian R1T is an outdoorsy luxury mid-size truck. The R1T starts around $70,000 before incentives. The GMC Hummer EV is crab-walking its way into dealerships, but only at a hefty price tag. For $100,000, the reimagined electric hummer truck can be all yours. The Tesla Cybertruck was just delayed to 2023 at the earliest, so there’s not much to say about that concept for the time being. 

Is it worth the wait for the Ford? F-150 Lightning pricing is attractive, and it’s sure to get truck buyers the most value for their money out of the few options we have today. Plus, who wouldn’t want to have a truck that also serves as a generator for backup power? Tesla has been stubbornly against adding vehicle-to-grid functionality to their models, probably because Tesla also sells home battery products. 

YAA’s Take

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck is the pinnacle of utility. You can power a dozen tools, save hundreds to thousands on fuel, and even power your entire home with this truck. Unfortunately, Ford didn’t anticipate so much love for the Lightning. If this truck was at dealerships today, they’d be flying off the lot. F-150 Lightning pricing is what you’d expect from a truck in today’s market. It’s likely to set buyers back by at least $60,000 with options included. If only there was an electric Ford Maverick for those of us who prefer to spend less.

Do you think the F-150 Lightning will sell to traditional truck buyers? Or will Ford appeal to a different demographic altogether? We’d especially love to hear from you if you’re a reservation holder. The Lightning will have a lot to live up to after the long wait we’re in for.