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While it has only been out a short time, we were curious about what the Ford F-150 Lightning reliability has been like for new owners.

Reliability is a big topic when it comes to trucks since most are used for the hardest jobs and owners tend to keep them longer than other vehicles. With this in mind, plus the pretty high price for electric vehicles, it is worth looking at the Ford F-150 Lightning reliability to see what has happened with the first models.

Ford F-150 Lightning battery concerns?

Let’s start with the big issues, and work our way down to the smaller ones.

First, we can’t start any conversation on Ford F-150 Lightning reliability without talking about the battery. With an EV, the battery and its replacement price are the main concerns since everything else on the vehicle is basically window dressing around the battery.

The Ford F-150 Lightning battery replacement is significant right now in the $30k range for either the standard or extended range battery, depending on what dealer you buy the battery from.

Is this a big deal? Currently, not really. Let’s put this into perspective, at the end of last year, Ford Motor Company says it sold 15,617 Lightning pickups. Spending a little time online, we see one high-profile battery replacement for the Hoovies garage Lightning — and not a whole lot else.

Even CarComplaints.com, which usually has a wealth of problem information, has zero complaints on this NACTOY-winning truck.

Looking back at the Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV, the only thing we found was a massive recall impacting most of the models built due to a potential overheating problem. That’s it.

Also, keep in mind, all these Lightning trucks are still under a federally mandated 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty — and that specifically includes the battery.

So, should you be concerned about the Ford F-150 Lightning battery? Frankly, it comes down to whether you are a glass-half-full or a glass-half-empty person.

Other Ford F-150 Lightning reliability concerns

Besides the battery, there have been eight recalls on the truck with issues ranging from lug nuts not being tightened to a bad windshield wiper motor according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Interestingly, NHTSA also shows 91 complaints on the Ford F-150 Lightning reliability, but it is a mix mash of gas F-150 trucks combined with the Lightning. For example, NHTSA lists six engine problems. The Lightning doesn’t have an engine and none of those complaints are for an electric vehicle when you read them.

One last point for reliability is simply this: Consumer Reports expects worse reliability versus other vehicles due to how the publication sees Ford’s overall truck reliability and Mustang Mach E concerns. That isn’t exactly a stamp of disapproval.

What about the winter range concern?

While this isn’t technically a reliability issue, it is worth mentioning there has been an uproar lately over the dramatic loss of range with the Ford F-150 Lightning in cold temperatures. Some owners have seen the range cut in half or worse for the truck. EV advocates will point out gasoline and diesel vehicles see similar range loss when things get cold.

Many EV owners are buying vehicles based on the stated range and are surprised by such a drop. However, we know good and well that “estimated” range is a far cry from “actual” range since the EPA testing is essentially done in a vacuum. So, if you aren’t going to trust the gasoline range, why would you blindly believe the EV range? But we digress.

The Lightning cold-weather range drop grabbed so much attention that Ford issued a press release with tips for their electric vehicles to perform better when it is cold.

If you live in a cold climate, just be aware, the estimated range will see a drop and it might impact your ownership experience.

The bottom line

Electric trucks have their pros and cons, for sure, and they aren’t for everyone. However, early data does suggest the Ford F-150 Lightning reliability has been pretty good. Will that last? Only time will tell. If you own a Ford F-150 Lighting and have had reliability issues, comment below. We’d love to know about them.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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