Updated: October 2023.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is the electric vehicle version of the popular Ford F-150. It is one of the fastest and most potent EV truck models and is the best-selling EV in its class. Read more about it here.
However, because of the high demand, and the technical requirements that the truck brings to the market, it wasn’t available for sale at any regular Ford dealer until late 2023. The dealers had to undergo training and certification to accept orders for the F-150 Lightning. The technical capability requirements made it difficult to bring the F-150 Lightning to the dealership for them to sell. Additionally, the demand for the EV truck required Ford to redesign its sales process.
To buy a Ford F-150 Lightning, you must go to the Ford website and create a reservation. You cannot purchase the EV truck directly from any regular dealership unless they already have one on the lot. The release of the trucks was in waves, and you would be informed when and where you can accept the delivery of your F-150 Lightning.
Today (at the time of updating this article, October 2023), after you order the truck, the earliest you can expect to receive it is about 3 months.
The wait time was also very long to get your truck, up tot 2 years, and because you couldn’t buy someone else’s spot in the list, people really had to want one to wait that long.
To order one you need to do it on Ford.com. When you open the website, you can choose what model truck you want, but you will only be able to buy it after a while. The high demand for the vehicle meant a need for more inventory. In purchasing a regular model Ford, you can practically walk to the lot and drive away with a truck of your choice. Instead, the Ford F-150 Lightning is released in waves, according to a schedule.
After you sign up for the vehicle, your order is in a queue as this EV is made to order. You will have to wait for the exact model you signed up for. At the same time, there will be no dealership fees and markups. The vehicle will be allocated to you and built according to your wishes.
Can I Still Buy a Ford F-150 Lightning?
Yes, you can still buy the Ford F-150 Lightning, but not for the 2022 and 2023 model years. The online ordering system is used because there is a high demand, and those who want to buy the Ford F-150 are assured that they will get theirs as soon as they are released from the Ford plant.
However, there are only a limited number of vehicles per wave, and the ordering has already been filled for the model years 2022 and 2023. Those who had ordered online before the ordering system was closed will get theirs within the year.
Those who want to buy an F-150 Lightning but cannot reserve in 2022 and 2023 will have to wait until the next reservation cycle.
How to Reserve A Ford F-150 Lightning?
To reserve a Ford F-150 Lightning, you must log in to your Ford account or create one if you still need to do so. You will have to order your specific F-150 Lightning on the website. Choose the truck configuration you want, including the available models and options, and submit the online order form. You will also be asked which Ford dealership you want to pick up the truck when it gets delivered.
In 2022 and early 2023 you couldn’t place an order for a Ford F-150 Lightning, you could build a truck and see how much it was going to cost and then sign up for updates to get notified when they open up reservations again. Today you can just place the order and wait till its ready like a normal truck.
Start With Creating A Ford Account
First, go to Ford.com and start by clicking My Account in the top navigation bar.
On the sign in window, click the Create an Account link at the bottom to create a new account. If you already have an account, you can log in here and skip the rest of the account creation steps.
Enter you email address and click Request Email. This needs to be your real email address because you will need to click a button inside an email they send you to confirm your email address and continue the registration.
After clicking Request Email, you will see the page below explaining that they just sent you an email that you need to confirm within two hours.
Go to your email and find the email from Ford with the subject line of “Verify your email address”. If you cant see it, make sure to check your Spam or Junk folder. In Gmail you can find it in your left sidebar where you see Inbox, Starred, Snoozed, etc. Spam or Junk folder is usually hiding inside the More section. Click on More to reveal it.
Once you find it, open it and click the Verify Email button.
It will redirect you to a page that looks like the screenshot below. Fill in your First and Last name and then enter a password you want to use for your new Ford account. Make sure to write it down so you don’t forget it. When ready click Create Account button at the bottom.
You will land on a page that looks like the screenshot below. Meaning you are done creating your account. Click the button to go to Ford.com.
On Ford.com again click on My Account in the top navigation bar and then log in with your email and password you just set up.
Sign Up For Updates
Once you have an account, you can start building your truck.
To do this, log into your Ford.com account and then click Trucks & Vans in the top navigation bar. This will open up a a menu of trucks and vans. Click the Ford F-150 Lightning photo to get started.
On the next screen you can either get a quote from an authorized dealer near you or you can build a custom truck order.
Once you click Build & Price, on the next screen you can select the trim of the truck you would like to order.
After you select the trim, you will be walked through the rest of the build and customization process.
While you are building out your truck, you can keep an eye at the total price at the bottom of the page.
After you are happy with the options you’ve selected, you can get an Internet price or search the existing inventory to buy a truck. You can also get a quote from a local dealer by going back to the front page.
What Are the Different Ford F-150 Lightning Models?
The Ford F-150 Lightning comes in four different trim levels, and these are the Pro, XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. These variants come with other options and can be configured when you order online.
The base model Pro offers an upgrade to the battery pack, with built-in electrical outlets to directly power different tools, electronic devices, and appliances when traveling or when you are away from home.
The XLT model is more powerful than the Pro, with 18-inch wheels, with an option to upgrade to 20-inch wheels. It also has options for truck bed lighting. Other options are a tow package with a steering assist, trailer-brake controller, and onboard scales.
The Lariat is a larger model with more interior space. It has a 15-inch touchscreen and a premium 8-speaker audio system from Bang & Olufsen. Leather upholstery is standard, along with other amenities.
The Platinum is the top-of-the-line model with 22-inch wheels, a standard 563-horsepower powertrain, and an additional ten speakers in the audio system. It also features an Extended-Range battery, allowing for 70 miles more range than the standard battery, capable of 300 miles per charge. Charging is not a problem with over-the-air Software Updates. These updates include new charging solutions and the FordPass Integration that allows the owner remote access and the ability to communicate with the Ford Connected Charge Station. The Ford Connected Charge Station allows for at-home high-capacity 80-amp charging.
Charging is no significant issue either, with over-the-air Software Updates supplying robust charging solutions and FordPass Integration that allows you to remotely access your truck and communicate with the Ford Connected Charge Station. The 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro can also be used at home for seamless access to public charging. Owners can fast charge their F-150 Lightning home with the 80-amp Charge Station Pro.
How Much Does the Ford F-150 Lightning Cost?
The 2023 model F-150 Lightning Pro starts at $49,995. There is also an additional destination charge. The top-of-the-line Platinum with the Extended Range battery is priced at $97,000. Sitting in the middle of the price range is the XLT High trim which costs $80,974. It is also the first model with an extended-range battery.
There are tax deductions and incentives available to help offset the net cost of the electric vehicles which is very attractive to many people and is the reason they are willing to cross into the EV world.
How Much is The Deposit On A Ford F-150 Lightning?
When you place an order for a Ford F-150 Lightning, you are also required to pay a deposit of $5,000. It is non-refundable and is credited towards the price of the F-150 Lightning.
Once you place an order it is not transferable. The only way to get out of it is to cancel it and lose the deposit. Read more about transferring Ford F-150 Lightning reservations.
Can You Buy A Ford F-150 Lightning From The Factory?
Unfortunately, you cannot buy a Ford F-150 Lightning from the factory or the dealership. The only way to buy a Ford F-150 Lightning is through the website, and the vehicles are released in waves.
You can go to a Ford dealer and they will help you log onto the website and place an order but they will not have any trucks for you to buy right odd the lot.
How Long is the Waiting List For The Ford F-150 Lightning?
In late 2023, the wait is at least 3 months. There is a was a waiting list for the Ford F-150 Lightning in 2022 and early 2023. Because of the high demand, the backlog of orders looked like it would take three to four years to fulfill. Some of the orders feared to not be delivered until 2024 or 2025. The 2023 order books logged more than 200,000 reservations in such a short time.
Ford is increased their capacity for a run rate of 150,000 units. The run rate expected annual production capacity, and Ford expects to achieve this accelerated run rate by late 2023. With the increase in production capacity, they expected to deliver anywhere from 85,000 to 90,000 units this in 2023.
The Ford F-150 is the most successful truck line in the last 50 years, and the F-150 Lightning is living up to its reputation. The demand for the EV is phenomenal, and Ford is trying its best to keep up with orders.
To help buyers, Ford has started a certification program to upgrade its dealers’ skill set to serve EV drivers better. Additionally, the car manufacturer instituted a buying process that allows for saving on costs for the purchases. Buyers can now order the Lightning at their local dealer or order from the company website and wait until their personally configured F-150 Lightning is manufactured and sent to their dealership.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.