Ford Lightning Tax Credit Eligibility

Some trim levels of the Ford Lightning may continue to be eligible for the federal EV tax credit in the coming years. Click here to learn more!
Written by Amber Brown
Reviewed by Pat Roache
Nov 8, 2022
Some trim levels of the all-electric Ford Lightning are still
eligible for the federal tax credit
in 2022, and Ford seems confident that they will be able to meet the eligibility requirements for 2023 and beyond. 
The first federal tax incentives for electric cars came into being in 2010, and have been utilized by thousands of buyers across the US in the years since. As of August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act altered the eligibility requirements for the federal tax credit, and it’s still not set in stone as to whether or not Ford vehicles will meet them in 2023 and beyond.
So what does this mean for you? Is the Ford Lightning still a good choice for an EV? And what are the new requirements, anyway? Here to keep you grounded in a storm of change is
Jerry
, the
trusty car insurance broker
who makes sure you’re always covered when you need it. 
We’ll talk about tax credits at the federal and state level, where the Ford Lightning fits into it all, and how to get
cheap car insurance for your EV
—no matter what make or model lights you up!
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Is the Ford Lightning still eligible for a federal tax credit?

As of now, the three lower trim levels of the Ford Lightning are still eligible for a federal tax credit but the three higher ones are not. 
For a truck to be eligible for the credit, the price has to be below $80,000. The Lightning’s three highest ones (which are the extended range versions) are above this threshold. Even additional options and package upgrades could easily push the three lower trims well over the $80,000 mark. 
The Inflation Reduction Act which was signed in August of 2022 stipulates that the final assembly of the vehicle must take place in North America to be eligible for tax credits in 2023. There are additional requirements as to where the raw material for the batteries are sourced and where they’re assembled. 
So will Ford meet this last requirement? It’s unknown. Ford CEO Jim Farley recently said that the company is making “great progress” in the securing and processing of battery materials, and has broken ground on a battery manufacturing plant in Kentucky. Farley seems confident that Blue Oval enthusiasts will still be able to utilize the tax credit for a Lightning in the coming years, but only time will tell. 

What you should know about the new federal EV tax credit requirements

The requirements around the assembly and the sourcing of the battery materials are just a fraction of the new stipulations for the new federal tax credit in 2023 and beyond. Let’s take a look at the other components as well!  
To start with, there are some income requirements. For a single person to qualify they have to make less than $150,000 a year. A couple that files taxes jointly must have a combined annual income of less than $300,000
There are also stipulations about the price of the vehicle. Trucks (like the Lightning), vans, and SUVs must cost under $80,000 to qualify. Sedans must be below $55,000, and any used vehicle must be less than $25,000. 
Last but certainly not least, there are new regulations about where the vehicle and battery are assembled, and where the materials for the battery are sourced from. Here are the key components of these requirements:
  • The vehicle must be assembled in North America.
  • The $7,500 credit will be broken down into two separate parts—$3,750 for having at least 40% of the battery minerals sourced from the US (or a country that has a
    free trade agreement with the US
    ), and $3,750 for having at least 50% of the battery components meet the same stipulation.
  • These percentages will increase incrementally and are targeted to wind up at 80% of the minerals by 2027, and 100% of the components by 2029. 
Currently, there aren’t any EVs that meet these requirements, but automakers are scrambling to get there. On the plus side, the new requirements eliminated the 200,000 vehicle cap per manufacturer, which means that a lot more vehicles are once again potentially eligible. However, it’s unclear as to whether automakers will be able to keep up with the increasingly-stricter stipulations.

Other electric vehicle incentives

If those requirements seem a tad unobtainable, there’s good news and bad news! The good news is, there are many other rebates available at the state and local levels for electric vehicles. The bad news is, there’s massive variation between regions as far as these incentives go. 
Colorado
,
California
,
Oregon
,
Connecticut
, and
Delaware
are all among the states offering the best incentives. Some of the states that are the least EV-friendly include
Kentucky
,
Louisiana
,
West Virginia
, and
Idaho
. The offerings range from rebates up to $7,500 to a break on the costs of installing a home charger.
Check locally to see
what tax credits are offered in your area
. And it’s not just government agencies that are offering incentives—many large utility companies are as well.

Is the Ford Lightning still worth buying? 

So, is getting a Ford Lightning still worth it? Possibly—it really depends on your needs and priorities!
There are only a handful of fully-electric trucks currently available, but the Lightning is impressive in its own right. Its driving range is from 230 to 320 miles depending on your battery choice, and the Lightning packs a whopping 452 to 580 horsepower for a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds. Towing capacity ranges from 7,700 to 10,000 pounds—but be aware that heavy towing will cause your range to drop dramatically
Keep in mind that you’re limited to the trim levels with the smaller battery (and smaller price tags) if getting the federal tax credit is a priority. MSRP starts at $53,769 for the base trim level but can go as high as $98,669 for the top three trims. 
If you don’t tow often and really want an all-electric truck that looks just like its full-size gasoline counterparts, then the Lightning will be worth it for you. And as expensive as it can get, it’s still the lowest-priced all-electric pickup on the market right now

What to buy instead of a Ford Lightning

In the world of all-electric pickup trucks, the pool of options is pretty small. There are a few other contenders out there, although getting one that’s under the $80,000 mark may prove to be a challenge. 

For the off-roader: Rivian R1T

Starting price: $79,500
Rivian has made a splash with their new pickup truck—the R1T—which boasts insane off-roading chops and a lovely design inside and out. But they don’t come cheap, and the lowest trim level is barely under the price cap
A recent recall of 13,000 vehicles due to a loose fastener that can potentially cause a loss of steering has been a significant bump in the road for the new company, but they’re still setting some impressively high bars when it comes to all-electric trucks. 

Fleet market: Lordstown Endurance

Starting price: $65,060
This US startup claimed it was going to be the first to market with an EV truck, but this was not to pass. That factor, combined with legal and financial troubles, has led Lordstown Motors to pivot to marketing the Endurance to fleet buyers rather than the general public—which is why many folks haven’t heard of them.  
As a fleet vehicle, the tech and convenience features are far below what the average car buyer these days would expect—particularly given the price tag. But if you like your trucks a bit on the spartan side and like the idea of driving something a little bit different, here you go. 

Hey, big spender: GMC Hummer EV

Starting price: $86,645 to $110,295
In a plot twist foreseen by precisely no one, the ostentatious, gas-hogging Hummer that was discontinued in 2010 has made a return a dozen years later as an all-electric vehicle. This behemoth has an estimated range of up to 329 miles and a 0 to 60 time of 3.3 seconds, which makes it competitive with the likes of the Lightning and the R1T. 
The Hummer also can crab-walk diagonally, which off-roading enthusiasts will love. But this thing ain’t cheap, and you can kiss that federal tax rebate goodbye no matter what version you get. 

How to save on EV insurance costs

All-electric pickup trucks are a new playing field in the world of EVs, and the high sticker prices can be expected to be accompanied by increased insurance costs. And if you have one of these amazing vehicles, you’re not going to want to skimp on insurance costs. 
When you shop for your policy with
Jerry
, you can be sure that you’re getting the optimal
car insurance
policy at the lowest possible price, without any of the hassles or leg work! Just download the app and try it today—you could be adding an average of $800 a year in car insurance savings to the money you’ll be saving at the gas pump!
“My policy covers two people and four cars: a truck, SUV, convertible, and muscle car.
Jerry
helped me go from paying $308 a month to $125 a month with the same coverage. I’m loving the savings.” —Jocelyn A.
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