The Ford F-150 Lightning is one of the most landmark EVs launched to date. Ford modified America’s perennial best-selling vehicle to run on electric power and offered it, at least at first, for an affordable price. It was brilliant, as long as you weren’t planning to tow anything.

One of the key appeals to the F-150 Lightning — setting aside the frunk, the home backup power and the quick acceleration that lives up to the nameplate — is not having to pay for gasoline, which combustion pickups consume in large amounts. 

How much does it cost to charge the F-150 Lightning? How much cheaper to operate is it than a gasoline pickup? It depends on how and when you charge it. 

How much does it cost to charge a Ford F-150 Lightning?

Ford offers the F-150 Lightning with two battery pack options: Standard Range (98 kWh) and Extended Range (131) kWh. As a rough estimate, a “full charge” would be 10-80% (Ford recommends buyers set the limit at 90%). The average rate for household electricity in America is 16.68 cents/kWh. That would mean $11.44 to deliver a full charge for the Standard Range F-150 Lightning and $15.30 for the Extended Range truck. 

How much does it cost to charge a Ford F-150 Lightning at home?

Home will be the cheapest place to charge a Ford F-150 Lightning. Owners who can will want to install a Level 2 charger to achieve a high enough rate to charge fully overnight. Home electricity rates vary based on location. Those variations can dramatically affect the price. 

The state with the cheapest electricity rate in the U.S. is North Dakota, averaging 10.44 cents/kWh. There, a full charge for an F-150 Lightning would cost just $7.16 for the Standard Range and $9.57 for the Extended Range pack. However, in California, the average rate is 32.47 cents/kWh. Full charging an F-150 Lightning there would cost $22.27 for the Standard Range and $29.77 for the Extended Range. 

Those local rates are averages, too. Timing also affects the price considerably. Electricity is far cheaper during off-peak hours, from late night to early morning than peak hours in the afternoon. So many F-150 Lightning owners will want to charge at night to save money. Some utility providers may further incentivize charging at night by metering the charger separately and offering a discounted rate. 

Installing the charger may erode, if not eliminate, some of the immediate savings of Level 2 charging at home. Ford offers its own Level 2 home charging option for the F-150 Lightning: the Charge Station Pro. Ford includes it for free with the Extended Range pack. It’s available as a $1,310 option for Standard Range buyers (alternative smart charging options could cost in the $500 to $600 range). Ford’s preferred provider, Sunrun, estimates a base charge for installation at $1,250 to $1,650

Can the Ford F-150 Lightning charge your home?

Yes. The Ford F-150 Lightning is capable of bidirectional V2H (vehicle-to-home) charging. It can send up to 9.6 kW of power from its battery to the home. Ford estimates that a 100 percent charge on the Extended Range pack can deliver full power to a home for three days or up to 10 with rationing. 

Setting up that system, however, will approach the cost of adding a fuel-powered generator. Sunrun estimates a base price of between $8,900 and $9,400 for hardware and installation of the Home Integration System necessary for V2H charging.

How much does it cost to charge a Ford F-150 Lightning on a DC fast charger?

Ford offers the “Blue Oval Charge Network,” essentially several different networks that integrate with Ford’s app. One of those available networks for Ford F-150 Lightning owners is the Tesla Supercharger network. Ford is planning a switch to Tesla’s NACS port in 2025. Current F-150 Lightning owners can charge at a Tesla Supercharger with an adapter (available from Ford) or at a Tesla charger equipped with a CCS magic dock

Charging on the road at a DC fast charger is typically the most expensive way to charge an F-150 Lightning. Motortrend estimated a rate of 25 to 50 cents/kWh to charge at a Tesla Supercharger. Tesla can also tack on $1.00 per minute idling and congestion fees. Other charging providers may offer similar rates that more than double the going rate for electricity, which, as with home charging, varies based on location and timing. 

Presuming a rate of 50 cents/kWh, fully charging an Extended Range Ford F-150 Lightning from 10-80% would cost about $40.85. 

How much do you save charging an F-150 Lightning over using gas?

In most cases, charging a Ford F-150 Lightning at home will be cheaper than filling up a combustion F-150 with gasoline. As of this writing, the average cost of a gallon of gas in America is $3.44. Per EPA numbers, a 4x4 V6 Ford F-150 requires 5.3 gallons of fuel to travel 100 miles, which costs $18.23. A hybrid F-150 requires 4.3 gallons, which costs $14.79. 

An Extended Range F-150 Lightning needs 48 kWh of electricity to travel 100 miles, costing $8.01 at the average household rate, significantly cheaper than the gas or hybrid F-150. However, fast-charging an F-150 Lightning during peak hours on a road trip could exceed the cost of fueling a gasoline vehicle.

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