The Ford F-150 Lightning was designed to make money
Ford's first electric truck is priced under $40K
The Ford F-150 Lightning's price is very right.
The electric pickup that President Biden took for a joyride on Tuesday will start at just $39,974 when it goes on sale early next year.
That makes the full-size truck cheaper than the much smaller Ford Mustang Mach-E compact utility vehicle and many other electric vehicles, despite coming standard with all-wheel-drive and a four-door body style that looks just like any other F-150's.
Darren Palmer, Ford's general manager of battery electric vehicles, told FOX Business that's the secret sauce.
"The approach we've taken, which gives us very high scale on the cells and the components and reusing parts allowed us to make a truck that we can make margin on. So we make positive margin on this truck overall," Palmer said.
"And that was important for us, because we wanted it to be the more we sell, the more margin we make, the more money we make. That's how we grow this part of the business."
It's a different tack to what GM and Tesla have done with the GMC Hummer EV and Cybertruck, which will be unique, purpose-built electric vehicles.
Palmer said the common body will also make it easier for current fleet and retail F-150 customers to transfer accessories to the Lightning while reducing their overall operating costs by as much as 50% thanks to the low price of electricity and reduced maintenance expected to be required.
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As for how many of them Ford expects to sell it hasn't released a projection, but Palmer said a poll of F-150 owners done two years ago at the beginning of the program found that 20% of F-150 owners were interested in an electric truck and he expects its much higher today.
Ford sold 896,526 F-Series trucks, including heavy duty models, in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic affected the market.