The all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning, which the American carmaker rolled out Wednesday, boasts some spectacular specs: 0 to 60 acceleration in 4.4 seconds; sufficient onboard energy to maintain a house working for 3 days; and a entrance trunk (the issues you may slot in a car when it doesn’t have an inner combustion engine). However essentially the most exceptional factor concerning the Lightning pickup truck—apologies, essentially the most surprising—is undoubtedly the value: $39,974 for the bottom mannequin.
That makes the electrical F-150 cheaper than practically all the electrical competitors. It’s on par with the Tesla Mannequin 3 sedan, the preferred EV in America, and cheaper than the upcoming Cybertruck pickup by about $10,000. It’s cheaper, by tens of hundreds, than the upcoming electrical Hummer and the electrical pickup from Amazon-funded startup Rivian.
Much more stunning: After accounting for state and federal tax credit for purchases of battery-electric autos, the electrical F-150 will doubtless be cheaper than the bottom stage fuel and hybrid variations. It’ll be cheaper, even, than some used F-150s.
That’s a very large deal for EVs. The case for electrical autos is lengthy: They’re less expensive to take care of, as a result of they’ve fewer elements; they’re enjoyable to drive; and so they’re a vital element of combating local weather change. The US transportation sector contributes greater than another to the nation’s greenhouse fuel emissions, and 60 p.c of these come from automobiles and light-duty vans, like pickups. Electrify these, and the world will get nearer to staving off the worst of local weather change.
However price has all the time been the main barrier for the EV-curious. It’s laborious sufficient to persuade folks to do new issues, set up new patterns, and purchase novel merchandise. Persuade them to do all that, and pay extra for the privilege? No thanks. EV gross sales within the US are rising, however just below 2 p.c of the autos bought in 2019 had been electrical, and so they had been overwhelmingly bought in California. Surveys of pickup truck homeowners analyzed by NPR discovered that simply 7 p.c would pay considerably more cash for a truck only for the atmosphere’s sake.
The electrical Ford F-150 would possibly change that calculus. “That sticker value goes to be the largest pull of all,” says Costa Samaras, an affiliate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon who research vitality coverage. “The value is essentially the most disruptive factor about this, as a result of it brings in individuals who may need in any other case neglected [an electric truck]. Now it’s like, ‘OK, perhaps this electrical factor may really work.’”
Different hurdles will stay. It may be powerful, or unattainable, to discover a public charger, although President Biden has promised the federal authorities’s assist in constructing half 1,000,000 charging stations by 2030. (Ford says buying certainly one of its electrical autos will give clients entry to 16,000 public chargers nationwide.) Relatedly, it may well take between half-hour and some hours to prime off a cost. Vary additionally stays a fear—concern that 200 or so miles of cost gained’t be sufficient to commute or run errands.