Ford Motor Co. has once again raised the price of its popular F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck after the automaker resumed its production that was halted following electric vehicle battery fire incident. The company will also resume shipments of the Lightning this week, reports said.
The price hike for certain versions of the Lightning, amid unexpectedly high demand for the electric pickup, is projected to help the firm offset high costs of critical raw materials such as lithium, cobalt and nickel.
The base variant of Ford’s electric F-150 truck, the standard-range Lightning Pro, now starts at $59,974, excluding shipping and taxes. This is nearly 50% higher than its original launch price.
Ford in its website shows that the 2023 Lightning Pro, a lower-cost version of the truck optimized for fleet use, is no longer available for retail order due to high demand. Order banks for fleet customers reportedly will reopen in April.
Ford also raised the price of the mid-level Lariat trim with standard-range battery to $75,974 from about $74,500. The starting price for a Lightning in the top-line Platinum trim now stands at $98,074, higher than previous price of about $96,900 .
Since announcing the Lightning’s initial price in 2021, Ford has raised the prices several times in 2022 mainly citing rising costs of critical raw materials.
The company had halted the production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup and also its shipments in February after an F-150 EV truck caught fire during a pre-delivery quality inspection in a company holding lot in Dearborn, Michigan. The company subsequently identified the potential defect in the battery cell, supplied by SK.
Ford later extended the halt after noting that battery supplier SK would take longer time to ensure they are back to building high-quality cells and to deliver them to the Lightning production line.
Ford also recalled 18 Lightnings that may have had the same issue. Earlier this month, the company resumed full production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup.
Amid the speedy shift to electric vehicles, Ford last week said it expects to report loss of about $3 billion in its “Model e” electric-vehicle business this year. However, Ford confirmed that both its traditional internal combustion engine business Ford Blue and commercial products & services unit Ford Pro are solidly profitable and well-positioned for growth.
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