Ford Lightning: Orders Open Again, But Prices Are Up, Better Standard Range, New Hitch Assist Feature, Other News

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Ford has several cool pieces of news for us about their F-150 Lightning electric truck. The company is taking orders again (which is great), but with higher prices (ugh, but expected). Despite higher prices, there are two new reasons to go ahead and make an order: Ford gave trucks with the standard battery 10 more miles of range, and there’s now an available feature that can greatly assist with hauling a trailer.

Orders Open, Higher Prices

Let’s start with the reopened order book and increased prices. Due to considerable material cost hikes and other factors, Ford has adjusted MSRP for the first time since it introduced the F-150 Lightning in May 2021. Because of substantial materials costs and other elements, Ford has changed MSRP beginning with the next wave of F-150 Lightning purchases.

Prices used to start at just under $40,000, but now they start at just under $47,000. Here are the package prices:

Trim Level/Package MSRP
Pro $46,974
XLT $59,474
XLT High $68,474
XLT High / Extended Range $80,974
Lariat $74,474
Lariat Extended Range $85,974
Platinum Extended Range $96,874

Obviously, these costs are before any destination/delivery fee, as well as government fees and taxes. There were no finance charges, dealer processing expenses, electronic filing costs, or emission testing fees.

“Current order holders awaiting delivery are not impacted by these price adjustments,” Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer, Model e, said. “We’ve announced pricing ahead of re-opening order banks so our reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering a Lightning.”

How Ford Softened This News A Bit

While a price hike of around $7,000 isn’t great, Ford didn’t want to announce this without some good news to go with it. This came in the form of a new feature and improved range for the standard battery.

Pro Trailer Hitch Assist is the first of its kind in the industry, with automated steering, throttle, and braking adjustments for easier trailer towing. The Tow Technology Package comes standard on Pro, XLT, and Lariat trims as well as certain Lariat trims and the Platinum trim.

Ford wasn’t super clear on how this feature works or what problems it helps us with, but we know that they already offer a backup assist feature, so this new feature doesn’t do that. When we hear more about this feature, we’ll share more here at CleanTechnica.

When it comes to range, Ford announced that they made the standard battery a little better. Starting in the fall, pickups with the standard battery will have a more-limited EPA-estimated range of 240 miles — up from 230 miles previously. This obviously isn’t a huge difference, but for a pickup truck, getting just a few extra miles can make a big difference for towing and other work by giving you slightly more margin.

Other F-150 Lightning News

Paint options for the next batch of F-150 Lightnings will be a little different. Customers who buy a truck will be able to choose from 10 new color options, including Avalanche Gray and Azure Gray metallic tri-coat. The following colors are being phased out: Atlas Blue, Ice Blue Silver, and Smoked Quartz Metallic, all of which were already unavailable on models produced this fall.

So, it seems color options are going to go down by one, but that’s not a huge deal, especially if you like the new colors.

The SSV Lightning Is Good For More Than Police Use

Another piece of news is related to the police version of the F-150 Lightning we previously covered. Ford wants to make it clear that this vehicle isn’t just for police. Many of the features they’re offering with it work just as well for fire departments, EMTs, and even some commercial uses. The package is called “Special Service Vehicle,” so that makes a lot of sense. But, hey, everyone likes police cars unless one is behind them with the lights on, so the media can’t be blamed for focusing on the police use of that vehicle.

Also, that release had quotes like the one below, along with police truck pictures, so they were focused on that, too.

“We’re proud to offer America’s first electric police pickup truck to local government customers who can use the truck’s game-changing technology to help improve their productivity,” said Nate Oscarson, Ford Pro national government sales manager. “Pro Power Onboard can serve as a mobile power source to light up evening accident scenes on the highway, the electric powertrain helps to potentially reduce costs associated with fuel and scheduled maintenance needs and the Mega Power Frunk provides extra lockable storage on top of purpose-built police additions our customers have come to expect from the leader in police vehicles.”

As Ford pointed out, the 2023 F-150 Lightning Pro SSV combines the benefits of an electric powertrain with law enforcement-specific interior features of the F-150 Police Responder, including police-grade heavy-duty cloth seats, built-in steel intrusion plates, and available roof-mounted LED warning beacons. But, all of these features are useful for other fields.

The tough seats are great for EMS, fire, and commercial duty for reasons that should all be pretty obvious. Just for commercial users, we have to keep in mind that they don’t tend to just get in and out of the truck a few times a day like a commuter. All of that in and out can really do a number on seats. Add the dirt and muck of construction sites, sensitive cargo that might have to ride on a seat, and other things that put them through the grinder, and tough seats are a big deal.

While we associate lights with police, fire, and EMS duty, we have to keep in mind that many commercial users use roof lights. Roadside assistance, tow trucks, highway construction vehicles, and even some volunteer helpers like REACT volunteers use emergency lights to help people and stay safe while doing it.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Probably Wasn’t Needed

I don’t want to close on a bad note, but it’s important for readers to be aware that companies often pair bad news with several other news items to dilute them. Yeah, we see that here. Nobody’s fooled.

But, it really isn’t Ford’s fault that it had to raise prices. Supply shortages, inflation, and other factors make it difficult for anyone to not raise their rates a bit. So, we shouldn’t be hard on Ford for this. It’s something everyone has to do right now.

Featured image provided by Ford.

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Jennifer Sensiba

Jennifer Sensiba is a long time efficient vehicle enthusiast, writer, and photographer. She grew up around a transmission shop, and has been experimenting with vehicle efficiency since she was 16 and drove a Pontiac Fiero. She likes to get off the beaten path in her "Bolt EAV" and any other EVs she can get behind the wheel or handlebars of with her wife and kids. You can find her on Twitter here, Facebook here, and YouTube here.

Jennifer Sensiba has 1984 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Sensiba