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Ford F-150 Lightning vs. Tesla, Rivian, GMC and Chevy: Electric Pickup Specs Compared

Ford's hotly anticipated electric pickup is now in production. How does the battery-powered version of America's best seller stack up against rivals?

This story is part of Plugged In, CNET's hub for all things EV and the future of electrified mobility. From vehicle reviews to helpful hints and the latest industry news, we've got you covered.

America's best-selling vehicle is now available as an EV, friends. Yes, the all-electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is in production and the first deliveries are reaching customers as you read this. Heck, we've just had a thorough first drive and published our initial impressions. The F-Series EV joins a growing roster of battery-powered pickup trucks scheduled to hit the market in the next couple of years. Unlike some other electric trucks that are targeting luxury buyers and hardcore off-roaders, Ford is placing a big bet on a far-more-traditional-looking truck that just happens to be electric. With its surprisingly affordable pricing and decades of market research in the full-size pickup segment, Ford is expected to have a leg up when it comes to selling in volume to everyday customers, but beyond knowing that Ford had to shut down the model's reservation process with 200,000 hand-raisers, it's still too early to tell how big of a success the truck will be. 

Regardless, the F-150 Lightning will go up against some powerful competition. GMC's Hummer EV has already started being delivered in dribs and drabs, and its General Motors sibling, the Chevrolet Silverado EV, remains about a year away. Startup EV manufacturer Rivian has already delivered thousands of R1T pickups, but production remains sluggish, with the company only targeting 25,000 deliveries this year. And while Bollinger's chonky B2 pickup recently got the axe before even making it into production, buyers remain hot for the yet-to-be-released Tesla Cybertruck, a model that is way behind schedule and unlikely to show up before 2023.

Performance

Ford is pegging output at 580 horsepower for extended-range battery models and 775 pound-feet of torque for both the standard and extended-battery trims of its 2022 F-150 Lightning. That's more powerful than the F-150 Raptor and the most torque ever for an F-150. Heck, that's even more torque than the 6.2-liter and 7.3-liter V8 engines offered in the Ford Super Duty. The company expects the Lightning to turn in a 0-to-60-mph time in the mid-four-second range. However, Ford admits those are the numbers for the extended-range battery-pack model -- probably the one President Joe Biden drove. Look for the standard-range model to produce 452 hp and have a commensurately slower scoot to 60 mph.

Tesla is promising that the Cybertruck's top trim will contain three motors, and while the company has yet to confirm final power figures, Tesla says its truck will sprint to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. We feel confident that the truck will eclipse the Model S in terms of power. By how much? It's anyone's guess, especially since Tesla hasn't finalized engineering on the truck yet.

For its part, Rivian says that its all-wheel-drive R1T can scoot to 60 mph in as little as 3.0 seconds, which is insanely quick even by sports-car standards.

Craving more 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning news? We've got you covered:

GMC says its Hummer EV will pack a whopping 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb.-ft. Of course, that impressive torque number is misleading, in that it refers to axle torque, which generally results in a significantly higher number than the SAE-certified spec the auto industry commonly uses. (Let Engineering Explained's Jason Fenske tell you what we mean.) Either way, GMC says all that gumption is enough to propel the absolutely massive EV to 60 mph in three seconds flat.

The Hummer EV's electric cousin, the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV, carries slightly lower figures in its RST First Edition trim, which will be the first customer-oriented trim to leave the production line in Detroit. Here, its two electric motors combine to produce up to 664 hp and 780 lb.-ft., which means there will be plenty of pep in its step. 

The Rivian R1T is no slouch in the power department, either. The top-spec, quad-motor truck will make an estimated 800-plus hp and 900-plus lb.-ft. of torque, enough to go from a dead stop to 60 mph in three seconds.

Powertrain and range


Power (hp) Torque (lb.-ft.) Range (mi., est.)
Ford F-150 Lightning 580 775 320
Chevy Silverado EV 664 780 400
Tesla Cybertruck 800 (est.) 1,000 (est.) 500
GMC Hummer EV 1,000 11,500 (at axle) 329
Rivian R1T 800 (est.) 900 (est.) 400 (est.)

Range

When it comes to people's perception of electric vehicles, there is perhaps no metric more critical to potential customers than range. That's true even most people won't go more than a couple dozen miles in their day-to-day lives. The Ford F-150 Lightning will eke 320 miles of range out of its extended-battery pack XLT and Lariat models. Heavier, range-topping Platinum models with the same battery will muster 300 miles, while standard-range models are pegged at a more modest 230 miles. Interestingly, those figures are more than the Blue Oval initially promised. Ford says the standard-range pack has 98 kWh of usable energy, and the extended-range setup comes with 131 kWh. Ford also claims the F-150 is the first EV to come standard with an 80-amp home charging system that can add 30 miles of range in an hour and a full charge overnight. On a 150-kW DC fast charger, the extended-range F-150 can add 54 miles of range in 10 minutes. Alternatively, the Lightning's pack can juice up from 15% to 80% in as little as 41 minutes. The Lightning can also provide up to 9.6 kW of power to keep your tools, tailgating toys or your entire home full of juice.

However, the F-150 can't compete with the Tesla Cybertruck's claimed 500 miles of range on the top-tier Tri-Motor version. Of course, those figures are purely speculation for now, as the vehicle is still in development and all we have is Tesla's aging estimates.

GMC says the 2022 Hummer EV will have an estimated range of 329 miles with its three-motor setup. GMC also says that the Hummer EV is compatible with 350-kW DC fast charging, which can put about 100 miles of range into the battery in 10 minutes. 

The Chevrolet Silverado EV is just a hair better than the Hummer EV, as its lithium-ion battery should provide an estimated 400 miles of range for both the RST First Edition and WT variants at launch. The Silverado EV will be able to accept up to 350 kW charging, which means it can add about 100 miles of range in 10 minutes. That said, if you need to use that power for a jobsite or a campsite instead, the truck can feed 10.2 kW of power to up to 10 devices.

The Rivian R1T claims 400 miles of range from its highest-spec model with a 135-kWh battery. The company is planning its own Rivian Adventure Network for exclusive charging of the R1T and R1S SUV. These 200-kW chargers (300-kW chargers are planned), can put 140 miles of range in the battery in 20 minutes. Rivian expects to build 3,500 chargers in 600 locations throughout the US and Canada by the end of 2023, but it hasn't given an update on its progress in some time.

Payload and towing

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning targets 10,000 pounds of towing capability on XLT and Lariat trims with the extended-range battery and the Max Trailer Tow package. To make towing easier, the Lightning debuts a new Pro Trailer Hitch Assist system that controls the steering, throttle and brakes, lining the tow ball to the hitch without any driver input.

Tesla claims to be able to lug 14,000 pounds in the Cybertruck's Tri-Motor trim. That handily beats out the F-150 Lightning as well as the Rivian, which claims 11,000 pounds. (The Rivian has both an 11.1 cubic-foot front trunk and a novel Gear Tunnel that holds a further 11.7 cubic feet of stuff just behind the passenger compartment.)

As for payload, the Lightning is estimated to haul 2,235 pounds with the standard-range battery (that's up from an earlier estimate of 2,000 pounds). Four-hundred of those pounds can go in the 14.1 cubic-foot front trunk. Extended-range-pack Lightnings max out at 1,952 pounds of payload. What's really cool here is Ford's available Onboard Scales technology that estimates your current payload, does a bunch of math, checks your route with GPS accuracy and spits out your projected range with the load you're carrying.

Tesla claims the Cybertruck will be able to handle 3,500 pounds of payload in its bed, which can be fully sealed and locked, thanks to a sliding cover. The smaller Rivian is way behind here: It's able to haul 1,760 pounds. The Rivian's bed does have a power lockable tonneau cover, however, so all your gear is protected from thievery.

The Chevrolet Silverado EV definitely looks to be a contender when it comes to towing and payload, although it's not going to win the category outright -- at least not yet. When it launches, the Silverado EV RST is projected to be able to tow 10,000 pounds, but its bed is only rated for 1,300 pounds. Some help will come later on, when Chevrolet expands the Silverado EV WT line to include a max-towing package that can pull up to 20,000 pounds, but that has yet to be fully announced.

GMC says the Hummer EV can tow 7,500 pounds and haul 1,300 pounds in its bed. One key missing bit of info from all of these manufacturers, though, is range at these payload- and towing-capacity targets. The industry hasn't exactly sorted out a standardized testing methodology on this, one that is definitely going to be needed. 

Towing and payload


Towing (lbs.) Payload (lbs.)
Ford F-150 Lightning 10,000 2,235
Chevy Silverado EV 10,000 1,300
Tesla Cybertruck 14,000 3,500
GMC Hummer EV 7,500 1,300
Rivian R1T 11,000 1,760

Pricing

When it comes to price, it looks like the Ford F-150 will be king, with a low price of just $41,669, including a destination charge of $1,695. Remarkably, that makes the Lightning less expensive than an equivalent gas-powered 2021 F-150 XL SuperCrew 4WD (all Lightnings come standard with four driven wheels). Plus, that surprisingly low base price is before any tax incentives, including the $7,500 federal tax credit. A fully loaded model will likely start at around $92,000, which isn't cheap, but from a value perspective, the Lightning looks mighty attractive.

Tesla promises that its rear-wheel-drive Cybertruck will start "under $40,000," but we've heard this kind of talk from Tesla before. Remember that $30,000 Model 3? It took years to arrive and only stuck around for what seemed like weeks? Today, a Model 3 is nearly $50,000 to start. Tesla isn't yet offering full pricing for its more expensive Cybertruck trims, but we wouldn't be surprised to see them climb into six digits.

The GMC Hummer EV costs $112,595 including destination, but that's for the fancy Edition 1. Less powerful, lower-range and much less-expensive versions will follow in the coming months and years. The Chevy Silverado EV is in the same boat, launching the RST First Edition trim to start, which will cost a buyer $105,000 before destination. The WT trim will come a bit later at a price of $39,900 before destination and Chevrolet says other trims will have an MSRP of anywhere from $50,000-$80,000.

Rivian's R1T starts at $67,500 for the recently announced two-motor Explore package while the Adventure package goes for $73,000. A large battery package with 320 miles of range adds $6,000 to the bottom line, while the max pack with its 400 miles of range will add a whopping $16,000 to the price. (Rivian reservation holders who got in line before March 1, 2022 will still get the significantly lower pricing that they were initially promised.)

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