By Rachel Koning Beals
Ford says the battery range in the trucks have been boosted to an EPA-estimated target of 240 miles, up from 230
Ford Motor Co. this week will reopen its order banks exclusive to reservation holders for the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck. With this round comes a slightly longer battery range and a higher sticker price for model year 2023.
Citing "significant material cost increases and other factors," the automaker said in a release it would increase the manufacturer's suggested retail price on the Lightning starting with this wave of orders. The base model of the truck will go up by $7,000, or 17.5%, to just under $47,000. Customers with an order already on the books will not be impacted.
Ford(F) isn't alone. Faced with rising raw materials prices and chip shortages as the world rebounds from the worst of the COVID-19 shutdown, many electric-vehicle makers have increased prices on some models.
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Ford in April reported first-quarter results within Wall Street expectations, saying that strong demand for its vehicles was tempered by "persistent" supply-chain challenges that crimped the auto maker's ability to fulfill its orders.
Ford's stock is down 26% so far in 2022, but does remain up 9% from where it stood in August 2021. The S&P 500 is down 13% in the year to date.
Ford launched production of the Lightning in April, a version of its already best-selling F-150. EV-market observers were excited by the launch, anticipating strong construction site, farm and ranch, and personal-use demand, especially because the vehicle can act as a backup power generator. Ford has sold 4,400 of the trucks year to date.
The automaker said at launch time it anticipated demand outrunning its initial production capabilities. It capped reservations at 200,000 and moved to boost capacity at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn. Mich., to 150,000 units per year by next year.
To date, the starting price on the Lightning was $39,974, excluding destination fees, which all manufacturers slap on vehicles as they move from production to dealerships. The suggested prices announced this week, excluding destination fees, are:
Ford also announced that the standard-range battery models in the trucks have been boosted to an EPA-estimated target of 240 miles, up from 230.
Other features received an upgrade. Ford is adding Pro Trailer Hitch Assist technology to the 2023 model year Lightning; it automatically controls steering, throttle and brake inputs to make hitching trailers easier. Ford is also is introducing a purpose-built Lightning Pro geared toward police departments in model year 2023.
Around the industry, price hikes have already emerged or will soon.
General Motors Co. (GM) boosted the price on its GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and SUV by $6,250 starting back on June 18.
And the 2023 Tesla(TSLA) Cybertruck will be priced higher than first announced more than three years ago due to higher material and production costs, Elon Musk told investors Friday. The offering is expected to go on sale as soon as the middle of next year.
"Cybertruck pricing, it was unveiled in 2019, and the reservation was $99. A lot has changed since then, so the specs and the pricing will be different," Musk told investors, InsideEVs reported.
When it was revealed in late 2019, Tesla quoted a starting price of $39,900 for an entry-level single-motor Cybertruck, with higher-priced dual-motor and tri-motor variants. Tesla removed Cybertruck pricing from its website in 2021.
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-Rachel Koning Beals
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 09, 2022 13:22 ET (17:22 GMT)
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