The cost to replace the battery pack will likely be around $40,000

Ford Lightning Platinum owner (who’ll remain anonymous) is going through the growing pains of being an early adopter as he shared on the Ford F-150 EV Lightning “Owners Only” Group that his electric truck randomly died and would not move from the grocery store parking lot where he stopped.

After informing Ford and having his Lightning towed away on a flatbed, his Ford dealership informed him his Lightning had a lithium ion battery leak, and he’d need an entirely new battery pack if he wants to keep driving it.

Here’s a screenshot of his post below.

Prior to his update post above, he shared how his Lightning came to a dead stop at a grocery store parking lot and would not move, no warning lights, error codes, thrown, nothing.

“I was driving home, stopped at a grocery store parking lot for a few minutes and suddenly it did this and won’t move,” his caption reads.

After filling out a roadside assistance form from his Ford app, his Lightning was picked up five hours later, and he was informed of the bad news on the same day.

I could not find any similar occurrences of lithium ion battery leakage from other Lightning owners in the group, on forums outside of Facebook, or from Tesla owners via, but, based on what we know about lithium ion cells in general, we can make an educated guess as to what’s happening.

All electric battery packs are individual lithium ion cells (similar in construction to the kinds you find packed together in battery banks, laptop batteries,and rechargeable flashlights,) wired together into modules.

Depending on how large a battery pack your car has, your EV’s battery pack will have X amount of battery modules.

While the construction of each individual lithium ion cell might vary between car manufacturers and their respective battery pack suppliers, the basic chemistry of how they store energy remains largely the same.

Each cell has a positive and negative electrode (often made from cobalt oxide and graphite respectively) inside a liquid electrolyte that carries lithium ions between the two electrodes.

It’s this electrolyte that’s presumably leaking that’s causing a problem in this particular Ford Lightning battery pack.

Why it leaked, your guess is as good as mine. Leakage occurs most commonly because of puncture, damage, and/or extreme temperature conditions.

Regardless, it isn’t something that you can just patch up, it requires an entire battery swap.

Reading through his comments on what his dealership told him, it looks like the procedure is straightforward, but, before they can swap in a new battery, they have to set up a special swapping rig.

Browsing Youtube and there are a handful of videos showing what this rig looks like.

Basically, this battery swapping rig allows a Ford tech to swap a battery in a concise, controlled manner with the aid of electric pulleys, templates, and using OEM installation tools.

Special rig to swap a battery on a Ford Lightning

And, the cost to swap the battery is not cheap.

According to the people at Drive Electric who already priced out a new battery for these extended range Lightnings, they estimated, with labor, it’s $40,231 for a fresh pack.

Thankfully, all Ford electrics and hybrids come with warranty coverage for components unique to hybrid and electric vehicles, including the high voltage battery for 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

But, if this Lightning was 8 years and one day old or hit 100,001 miles, the owner would have to eat that $40,000+ cost if they don’t want to just sell it at that point.

And, with almost no independent shops doing Lightning battery swaps yet, the dealership is the only way to go for this type of repair.

This setback has not deterred this Lightning owner as, in the comments he dropped this reply.

“Once it’s fixed I will drive it again and if it’s lemoned or goes up in flames I will get another one. Gas cars are thousands of controlled explosions next to a line to a gasoline tank. They go up in flames all the time as well. Teslas go up in flames too. In fact people have died in tesla’s fires. So pick your favorite, take a chill pill and hope you are not the cursed roast of the day!”


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