Among the more pressing concerns for potential F-150 Lightning buyers is the price of a battery replacement, concern over how long the battery will last and what the warranty might cover in the event of battery failure.
These concerns are driven by misleading information as well as general uncertainty about electric-vehicle longevity, higher price points and a sense of being forced into EV adoption.
Let’s start with the Ford F-150 Lightning battery price — and it’s a whopper. However, before we dig in, know that’s not the whole story.
Searching Ford parts online, I found pricing for both the extended-range battery and the standard-range battery at my local Ford dealer.
First, the extended-range battery, the one with up to 320 miles of range, is currently priced at $35,960.
Next, the standard-range battery, with 230 miles of range, is currently priced at $28,556.
In both cases, I’m using the word “currently” because we have pretty high inflation at the moment, and tight supply chains make producing these batteries tough, which is artificially raising the prices.
With this said, I’d expect battery replacement prices to get even higher in the interim before coming down as the years go by. Plus, it’s worth noting, as battery technology gets better, degradation over time will decrease, making a potential battery replacement much less likely – Recommended by Robert Herrera, an automotive expert at COR Wheels.
When consumers combine prices like $96k for a Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum Edition and then $35,960 for a replacement battery, those numbers are staggering and might send potential buyers running for the hills. The natural follow-up question is: How long will the battery last on the F-150 Lightning?
In very rare cases a battery might fail completely, but there’s a warranty for that.
The reality is a battery will degrade over time, and it is up to the owner if they want to bother replacing the battery.
For example, experts say a battery will lose 2-3% of range each year. This information was gathered after reading reports from Chevy Bolt, Tesla and Nissan Leaf owners with vehicles ranging from 100,000-300,000 miles on them.
Assuming a maximum 3% degradation year-over-year, here’s what your range numbers would look like during a 10-year period:
|After year 1||310.4||223.1|
|After year 2||301.1||216.4|
|After year 3||292.1||209.9|
|After year 4||283.3||203.6|
|After year 5||274.8||197.5|
|After year 6||266.6||191.6|
|After year 7||258.6||185.8|
|After year 8||250.8||180.3|
|After year 9||243.3||174.9|
|After year 10||236.0||169.6|
|% degradation from new to year 10||26.26%||26.26%
Our friend Kyle Conner at Out of Spec Studios shared that his Tesla, for example, lost 12% of its range at the 100,000 mile mark. Conner points out, though, he did everything bad for the Tesla battery including charging at a DC Fast Charger 50% of the time, drag racing and charging to 100% regularly for long road trips, These are all ways to cause the battery to degrade faster.
Think of it this way. An electric truck battery is like a cell phone or computer. Brand new, it would last for hours without a charge, and overtime it gradually doesn’t last as long without a charge. It’s exactly the same thing with an EV. So, as degradation kicks in, you have the option to replace the battery, live with it or just get a new truck. It isn’t a have to, it’s a want to. That’s a big difference.
Plus, it’s worth noting, as battery technology gets better, degradation over time will decrease, making a potential battery replacement much less likely.
The good news for EV buyers is they have a good warranty to fall back on with their vehicles.
Most gasoline vehicles, like a regular Ford F-150 with a gas or diesel engine, have a powertrain warranty with 5 years or 60,000 miles.
For the F-150 Lightning, Ford states in the manual, the “battery is covered for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, retaining a minimum of 70% of its original capacity over that period.”
Are replacement batteries expensive? Oh, heck yeah! Is this something to worry about? Eh, not really. We’ve seen very few reports of batteries completely failing over the course of ownership, and even used EVs still have battery life left. In fact, used EV batteries can be recycled or reused as battery back-up storage devices since they aren’t dead, they have just degraded over time.