The Ford F-150 Lightning continues to be widely praised by owners and reviewers alike, and one of the things frequently mentioned is how inexpensive it is to charge the Lightning as compared to refueling a conventionally-powered F-150.
However, one thing that's rarely mentioned is how the cost to charge an electric vehicle can vary drastically, depending on how, where, and when you charge it.
I took delivery of my F-150 Lightning Lariat with the extended range battery pack seven weeks ago and have experience charging it at home as well as on some of the popular charging networks.
So I thought it would be helpful to explain the cost to charge the Lightning in a variety of ways, on different rate plans, as well as what it costs me to charge at home in New Jersey.
Home charging is usually the least expensive way to charge your EV, as well as the most convenient. The exception to that rule could be if you live in a state that has very high electricity rates, and also if your employer offers workplace EV charging, which is often provided free of charge for employees.
However, even if the electricity rates where you live are high, many utilities offer time-of-use (TOU) electricity plans that offer heavily discounted rates during off-peak hours, usually between midnight and 6:00 am. You can set your EV to begin charging when the TOU plan begins and stop when it ends, so you only pay the reduced rate.
The national average for electricity is currently $0.15 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). which is what I pay at my home in New Jersey. However, rates vary greatly from state to state, so in my comparison, I also included the most expensive state for electricity which is Hawaii, and the least expensive, which is in North Dakota.
I also added the cost for me to charge my Lightning on three popular EV charging networks: Electrify America, EVgo, and Blink. I would have added ChargePoint, but there's no consistent pricing on the ChargePoint network, so it isn't possible to accurately explain how much it costs to charge on ChargePoint.
That's because ChargePoint has a different business model than the other networks. ChargePoint doesn't manage the charging stations, and they don't set the pricing, that's completely up to the site owner. Unlike the other networks, ChargePoint sells the charging stations to site owners, they don't retain ownership or manage the sites. Therefore, site owners set the pricing rules and every site owner has its own pricing structure and rules.
I listed at how much it costs for a single individual full charge, as well as to charge the Lightning to drive 10,000 miles, 15,000 miles, 20,000 miles, and 100,000 miles.
Although most people will charge at home the majority of the time, I listed the cost to charge exclusively on the networks for those that can't charge at home and will rely entirely on public charging infrastructure.
I also demonstrate the cost of the different pricing plans that the networks offer, not because I believe anyone will charge all the time without signing up for the discounted pricing plans, but to show how much of a difference it is between the different plans offered.
Finally, I compared the cost of all of the different ways you can charge the Lightning with the cost to buy gasoline for a Ford F-150 hybrid that gets 24 miles per gallon, and a Ford Raptor, that gets 15 miles per gallon.
Lightning vs Raptor: Refueling Cost
The Raptor is probably the best head-to-head comparison, because of the Lightning's outstanding power and performance. It actually outperforms a Raptor going 0-60 and also in the quarter mile.
Since I have a home solar array I actually pay very little for electricity since 80 to 90% of my electricity needs are supplied by my solar production. However, for the purpose of the video, I used the current market rate for electricity in my town, since most people won't be charging their Lightning from their home solar system. Without including solar production, based on my current electricity rate it would cost me $6,281 to charge my Lightning at home for 100,000 miles of driving.
If the price of gasoline were to average $3.00 per gallon over the time it takes to drive a Ford Raptor 100,000 miles, it would cost $20,000 in gasoline to fuel the vehicle. If the current cost of gasoline ($4.00) per gallon were to hold over that period, the cost climbs up to $26,667, more than $20,000 more than it would cost to charge the Lightning over that same period.
This is, of course assuming the cost of electricity remains constant, which most likely won't happen. If I add an increase of 10% over the time it takes to drive 100,000 miles, increasing the cost to charge at home to $6,909. In that case, it's still $13,091 (based on $3/gal gas) less and $19,758 less if gas prices were to average $4 per gallon.
So check out the video and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.