Pickup buyers seem to like the Ford Raptor R more than the Lightning EV: Here’s why | Taza Khabre

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  • The Ford F-150 Lightning EV is facing sales problems as buyers back out of their purchase commitments, leaving dealerships with excess inventory.
  • One possible reason for this is the current increase in interest rates on new cars, which has slowed the hype and demand for new cars.
  • Real-world performance issues, such as limited range and charging limitations, may also contribute to lower demand for the Lightning EV compared to gas-powered alternatives like the Ford F-150 Raptor R.


There was a lot of hype leading up to the launch Ford F-150 Lightning, and it was easy to see why. The headliner was a full-size pickup with 563 horsepower and 775 lb-ft of torque, the ability to tow up to 10,000 pounds, and to top it all off, it ran on pure electric power. So, in theory, the Lightning EV could be very fuel efficient. The EPA found the smaller 98 kWh battery to provide a range of 230 miles, while the larger 131 kWh Extended Range battery increases the range to 320 miles. It’s also fast out of blocks. Ford claims a 0-60 mph time of under 4 seconds. So on paper, there seems to be little not to like about the Lightning EV.

However, the reality was different for Ford’s large electric pickup truck. While the Lightning EV is promising, it hasn’t translated into sales for the American manufacturer as well as it would have liked. Buyers are apparently abandoning their purchases of electric pickup trucks like the Lightning EV, leaving dealerships with plenty of inventory.


Why the Lightning EV isn’t selling

According to YouTuber Ben Hardy, there are thousands of Ford F-150 Lightning electric cars in dealership parking lots. Normally, dealerships or manufacturers don’t have to worry about this, but in the case of Ford EVs, they do.

Ben says that every Ford EV, whether it’s the Lightning or even the Mustang Mach-E, has to be custom-ordered by the customer. Only then will Ford build the car and ship it to the appropriate dealership. The reason there are thousands of Lightning EVs sitting around in dealerships across the country is because buyers backed out of their purchase commitments at the last minute, leaving dealerships scrambling for new buyers for Ford’s electric pickup truck.

It also claims that Ford has delivered more than 15,000 Lightning EVs by the end of 2022, with Ford saying they have around 200,000 Lightnings on reserve. The math doesn’t add up here, as dealers wouldn’t have a hard time getting rid of excess Lightning EVs from their inventory if demand was that high.

So why does this happen? One possible reason why customers are abandoning their purchases is that interest rates are not what they used to be on a new car. Ben claims that the car market when people first booked their cars was one where people were paying MSRP for “pretty much everything” and where interest rates on new cars were pretty low. However, in the car market, interest rates are now around 6-8%, depending on your credit history, which has increased significantly. According to him, the excitement about buying new cars has decreased significantly.

Another reason could be the actual performance of the Lightning EV. According to another YouTube channel, Hoovies Garage, his Lightning EV had “terrible range.” It apparently had less than 100 miles on it when it tried towing a small 1930s Model A pickup truck. He also says that there are huge limitations to the Lightning EV truck and that “Tesla was where Tesla was over 10 years ago,” which is what he believes is the charging experience for the Lightning EV.

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Dealers are charging more for the F-150 Raptor R

Ford

Ford apparently took note of the low demand for the Lightning EV and tried to take action by lowering the price of its electric truck. For this base 2023 Ford F-150 The Lightning Pro has a starting MSRP of $49,995, while the top-spec Lightning Platinum starts at $91,995. Again, it doesn’t seem to have had the effect Ford was hoping for, as the Lightning EV is still struggling to find enough buyers.

Meanwhile, in what seems like a counterproductive turn of events, buyers can’t seem to get enough of the Ford F-150 Raptor R. In case you missed it, the Raptor R is Ford’s gas-powered pickup truck that gets a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 dubbed “Predator”. It puts out a whopping 700 horsepower and 645 lb-ft of torque.

It weighs 5,960 pounds and gets a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford even lets you customize the exhaust valve modes for the Raptor R. In quiet mode, the truck runs almost silently up to about 5,000 rpm. Select Baja mode, and the exhaust note is raised significantly. It even gets a two-speed transfer case, which makes it possible to send all 700 horsepower to the rear wheels only. On the utilitarian side, it gets 8,200 pounds of towing capacity.

And it’s this pickup, not the electric version, that’s what buyers are flocking to. That’s despite a hefty starting price of $109,250, but that’s no longer the case. According to some reports, demand for the Raptor R is so high that some dealerships are listing them at huge markups, with some even offering $50,000 or more over MSRP.

RELATED: Who Needs a Raptor R When You Can Order a 700-HP Ford F-150 for Under $50,000

Americans prefer gas to electricity

2023 Ford-F-150_Raptor_R
Ford

This trend directly contradicts the efforts of most manufacturers to start electrifying their lines. In fact, according to a recent study published by an Australian auto insurance comparison site, Compare Marketmost Americans polled would prefer a gasoline-powered vehicle to an identical electric vehicle at the same price.

According to a survey of 1,006 American adults, 52.9% of respondents said they would prefer a vehicle with an internal combustion engine, while 33.8% said they would choose an electric vehicle. The rest, meanwhile, did not express particular preferences.

It is also interesting to note that the survey showed that the strongest age group prefers electric cars among 18-24 year olds43%, while the 55-64 age group has the highest preference for motor vehicles (70%).

The survey concluded that the biggest stumbling block to owning an electric car now is not the car’s range (according to 50.9% of respondents) or charging time (50.5%), but battery life and the cost of replacing it (56.4% ). Next comes the purchase price, which was named by 54.4% of respondents.

RELATED: Check out the new features on the 2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R compared to the 2023 model.

This survey and findings from YouTubers like Hoovies Garage show that EVs need better range and lower prices if they are to compete on an equal footing with their ICE counterparts. However, this would only be the beginning, as a widespread fast-charging infrastructure is undoubtedly also crucial to ensuring the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

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