You’ve probably heard that even though EVs are expensive, they’ll save you money over the long term thanks to lower costs for fuel and maintenance. While that’s arguably true in most cases, there are many variables. Our friend Ben Sullins breaks down just how much it costs to charge the Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.
The Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck is one of the largest and heaviest EVs on the US market today. It’s also not very efficient since it’s big and boxy, and it has a huge and heavy battery pack to cart around. However, owners will likely find that it costs them much less to keep the electric truck juiced up than it does to pump fuel into a traditional F-150 gas guzzler.
If you’re not yet familiar with Sullins, he’s a huge advocate for EVs and renewable energy. He’s owned multiple Tesla models and has a Rivian R1T electric pickup truck, though it seems he’d prefer an F-150 Lightning instead. Sullins also owns a gas-powered F-150 for comparison.
Sullins says that based on what people have written in, the F-150 Lightning gets an average of about 2.1 miles of range per kWh. The average miles driven came in at 1,400, and the average price per kWh was calculated at 22 cents. This all works out to 666 kWh of energy used for the month, and that’s a cost of $147 to travel those 1,400 miles.
A comparable gas-powered F-150 pickup truck returns about 20 mpg. At $4.88 per gallon, which is the price of gas right now where Sullins lives, gassing up the truck would cost about $342 per month. Sullins says that over five years, charging the F-150 Lightning instead of gassing up a traditional F-150 could save you nearly $12,000, and it would save him even more since his electricity prices are $0.15 per kWh instead of $0.22.
Keep in mind, the price of electricity and the price of gas vary widely, and they’re also fluctuating. For people who get a good electricity rate and do most of their EV charging at home (where it’s typically cheapest) overnight (when it’s typically cheapest), the savings in an EV over an equivalent gas vehicle can be significant.
For folks who live in areas where gas is cheaper, say $3.50 per gallon, it would still cost about $250 per month to fuel the gas-powered F-150, which is about $100 more than charging the F-150 Lightning at the 22 cents per kWh price, which is actually high compared to the price of electricity in some areas. We pay 11 cents per kWh while charging at home overnight.
If you live in an area where gas prices are generally low and you do most of your EV charging at public DC fast charging stations, your savings will be much less dramatic. Fast charging at a public station isn’t cheap since it’s a convenience that most people don’t necessarily need to use, except on road trips. It can also be even more expensive than the norm in certain areas and at certain times of the day.
Check out the brief video for all of Sullins’ valuable insight. Then, head down to our comment section and share your wisdom with us.