Ford has revealed its first all-electric F-150, the Lightning, and on paper it looks like a really compelling truck. It’s priced aggressively for an electric vehicle, has plenty of power, and looks to be more capable at towing and hauling than the cheapest gas-powered F-150s.
But Ford’s not alone in developing an electric pickup truck — far from it, in fact. There is a slew of electric pickups set to hit the market in the next year and a half or so. Tesla’s polarizing Cybertruck should start rolling off the line at the company’s new Texas factory at the end of 2021 or in early 2022. Rivian — a startup that has raised billions of dollars and is backed by Amazon and Ford — has an electric pickup called the R1T due out this June. And General Motors’ first electric pickup will be the gaudy Hummer, which the company has revived after a decade. That’s due out in late 2022.
The most interesting thing about these pickup trucks is perhaps not just that they’re electric. It’s that they’re all quite different from each other. Tesla’s Cybertruck is a radical rethink of a truck’s exterior design and body structure. The R1T is one of the most refined pickups ever made for off-roading. The Hummer is... well there’s not much the Hummer pickup isn’t. The F-150 Lightning is about as straightforward as it gets — which is unsurprising for an electric version of the most popular vehicle in the United States.
Despite the diverse designs, all four of these electric trucks are going to court buyers who want to do Truck Stuff with them, meaning stats like power, torque, towing and hauling capacity, and of course, range will be crucial considerations (along with price). Here’s how they stack up.
VS. THE EV COMPETITION
|F-150 Lightning (standard / extended range)||Tesla Cybertruck (single / dual / tri motor)||Hummer EV Edition 1 Pickup||Rivian R1T (large / max battery)|
|Range||230 miles / 300 miles||250 miles / 300 miles / 500 miles||350 miles||300 miles / 400 miles|
|Battery capacity||N/A||N/A||200kWh||135kWh / 180kWh|
|Weight||6,500 lbs (est.)||N/A||9046 lbs||5,886 lbs|
|Height||78.9 inches||75 inches||81.1 inches||72.1 inches|
|Length||232.7 inches||231.7 inches||216.8 inches||217.1 inches|
|Width (incl. mirrors)||96 inches||79.9 inches (w/o mirrors)||93.7 inches||87.1 inches|
|Bed||5.5 feet||6.5 feet||5 feet||4.5 feet|
|Front trunk||14.1 cu. feet||Y||Y||11 cu. feet|
|Horsepower||426HP / 563HP||Up to 800HP (est.)||Up to 1,000HP||Up to 754HP|
|Torque||775 lb-ft||Up to 1,000 lb-ft (est.)||1,400 lb-ft (est.)||Up to 826 lb-ft|
|Max towing capacity||7,700 lbs / 10,000 lbs||7,500 lbs / 10,000 lbs / 14,000 lbs||N/A||11,000 lbs|
|Payload capacity||2,000 lbs / 1,700 lbs||Up to 3,500 lbs||N/A||1,760 lbs|
|Drivetrain||Dual-motor||Single / Dual / Tri-motor||Tri-motor||Quad-motor|
|Base price||$39,974||$39,900 / $49,900 / $69,900||$112,595||$67,500 / $77,500|
|On sale date||Spring 2022||End of 2021/Early 2022||Late 2022||June 2021|
Ford’s electric pickup is really price competitive with the Cybertruck, though Tesla promises much more range and performance at the higher ends. The two designs could not be more different, but they track the closest, spec-wise.
The electric Hummer pickup truck outclasses both of those in a lot of ways (like max horsepower and torque), but it costs as much as a house, so it better. Rivian’s premium pickup is right in the middle, with some really good performance promised at a more digestible price.
There are others on the horizon, to be sure, but they’re either too far away to consider right now or there’s just not enough detail about them to properly stack them up. General Motors has committed to making an electric Chevy Silverado, though it doesn’t have a release date yet. Michigan startup Bollinger has spent years teasing a boxy electric work truck (plus a few variants) but still does not have a clear path to production. Lordstown Motors has a pickup truck slated for production at the end of this year, but it’s exclusively for fleets (and the company still has to finish a lot of real-world testing).
Meanwhile, one of the most compelling things about the F-150 Lightning is that it stacks up really well against its gas-powered siblings — especially because Ford is only selling it in a four-door SuperCrew configuration to start, which is its most expensive cab layout. Here’s a snapshot of the Lightning up against the cheapest gas-powered SuperCrew F-150 and the hybrid F-150.
VS its combustion counterparts
|F-150 Lightning (standard range)||F-150 3.3L V6||F-150 hybrid|
|Range||230 miles||483 miles (combined city / hwy)||750 miles (combined city / hwy)|
|Front trunk||14.1 cu. feet||N/A||N/A|
|Max towing capacity||7,700lbs||8,200lbs||12,700lbs|
|Drivetrain||Dual-motor AWD||3.3L V6 RWD||3.5L Hybrid RWD|
The base Lightning obviously can’t compete with the ability to go nearly 500 miles on a tank of gas or nearly 800 miles in the hybrid. But Ford has packed the electric F-150 with a lot of really compelling features — like a gigantic front trunk, tons of onboard power for running tools or even your home in a pinch — and has made its all-wheel drive standard. How many buyers will those features sway? We’ll have to wait until 2022 to find out. But Ford has already taken more than 20,000 $100 deposits for the electric F-150, so it’s off to a pretty good start.