The cost of Ford Motor’s cheapest model of its F-150 Lightning electric truck has gone up by nearly 10 percent as the company battles against ongoing supply-chain issues and decades-high inflation.

According to the automobile manufacturer’s official website, the electric pickup truck now starts at approximately $55,974, marking a more than $15,000 increase compared to its original pricing.

Ford initially announced a starting price of $40,000 for the hugely popular vehicle, which was named MotorTrend’s 2023 truck of the year earlier this week—the first electric truck to win by unanimous vote among the judges, according to Ford.

Back in August, the vehicle maker announced it was increasing the prices of all its F-150 Lightning models by $6,000 and $8,500, depending on the model, due to “significant material cost increases and other factors.”

In a statement at the time, the company said it was hiking the prices ahead of opening orders for the vehicle so that “reservation holders can make an informed decision around ordering” the truck.

The Michigan-headquartered automobile maker raised the price again in October by nearly 11 percent, to $52,000, with a spokesperson stating that “ongoing supply-chain constraints, rising material costs, and other market factors” had contributed to the price hike.

Ford, like many other electric vehicles (EV) makers such as Tesla and Rivian Automotive Inc., is struggling to keep prices low in the face of the soaring costs of raw materials, such as lithium, which are used in EV batteries.

While both standard-range and extended-range models of the F-150 Lightning are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500, the latest price raise comes at a time when American households are feeling the pressure of red-hot inflation and some are being forced to live paycheck to paycheck.

EVs Still Unaffordable for Many

Although U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in November, they still rang in at 7.1 percent year over year, with households across the country no doubt feeling the pinch.

While the Biden administration continues to push for Americans to switch to EVs, they are still largely unaffordable for many.

According to Bloomberg, less than 15 percent of drivers in the United States can afford an EV.

Meanwhile, automotive research company Kelley Blue Book found that new electric vehicle prices increased 2 percent from October to November, and are up 9 percent year over year, at an average cost of $65,041, which aligns more with luxury prices, according to the firm.

In comparison, the average price of a new non-luxury standard vehicle was $44,584.

Things may look very different in terms of pricing in the years to come though, according to Tim Prescott, founder and editor of the automotive news site Certainly Cars.

Prescott told Go Banking Rates in an interview earlier this month he anticipates EV prices to start dropping by 2025, before seeing a significant price drop by 2030.

“There is no question that prices for EVs will eventually undercut traditional gas-powered cars since manufacturers will be investing more into EV development and, in many cases, eliminating investments into their gas engine departments altogether,” Prescott said. “Essentially, the cost to manufacture gas-powered cars will remain stagnant while EVs will only get cheaper due to new innovations and improvements in technology.”

However, the price of lithium-ion batteries has risen 7 percent year over year in 2022, according to a study from BloombergNEF, which anticipates that EV battery prices will rise slightly next year, before falling in 2024 amid an increase in lithium mining and processing.

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