- Slowly but surely, electric pickups are set to start hitting streets in coming months.
- The Rivian R1T is already in production, and the F-150 Lightning comes in spring 2022.
- Here’s how the two e-trucks stack up across range, capability, pricing, and more.
The electric-pickup wars are heating up.
Electric-vehicle startup Rivian began producing its debut model, the outdoorsy R1T, in September. And Ford recently started building preproduction F-150 Lightning pickups ahead of the truck’s spring 2022 launch.
One could argue that these trucks are aimed at completely different buyers. The F-150 is a familiar, work-ready truck from an industry heavyweight, while the R1T is a feature-packed lifestyle vehicle from an exciting upstart.
But seeing as these will be the two main options for electric truck buyers for the time-being, there’s bound to be some overlap. Here’s how they stack up:
The Rivian R1T has an estimated range of 314 miles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The company says a 400-plus-mile battery is on the way.
Ford says the base F-150 Lightning will be able to travel 230 miles on a full battery, while an optional larger pack will deliver 300 miles of range.
Like Tesla, Rivian is aiming for the luxury end of the market. The base Explore model starts at $67,500, while a fancier Adventure trim will run you $73,000. A bigger battery pack is a $10,000 add-on.
The F-150 Lightning starts at around $40,000 for a basic work truck (the Pro trim). However, like other F-150s, the Lightning can get considerably fancier and more expensive when you start looking at options and higher trim levels.
A fully loaded Lightning will cost around $90,000, roughly the same as an R1T will all the bells and whistles.
The F-150 Lightning is the bigger truck of the two. It’s 232.7 inches long, compared with the R1T’s 217.1 inches. They’re about the same width with the mirrors folded in.
Much of that extra length comes by way of the Lightning’s bed, which measures 5.5 feet. The R1T’s bed is a foot shorter, but it’s meant more for hauling camping equipment than lumber.
Performance and Capability
Both trucks offer silent, forceful acceleration and excellent handling thanks to powerful electric motors and a low center of gravity.
In terms of the numbers, the R1T promises more than 800 horsepower and over 900 pound-feet of torque from its four motors – one at each wheel. The F-150 Lightning’s pair of electric motors put out 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque when mated to the larger battery pack, Ford says.
The R1T also performs tremendously well off-road, thanks to an advanced four-wheel-drive setup and adjustable air suspension.
Towing and Payload Capacity
The R1T’s maximum towing capacity and payload rating are 11,000 pounds and 1,760 pounds, respectively. For the Lightning it’s 10,000 pounds and 2,000 pounds.
Both pickups offer interesting features you can’t get in a gas-powered vehicle. Both have spacious front trunks, though the F-150’s is the roomier of the two. The R1T sports a Gear Tunnel – a horizontal storage cubby behind the rear seats – that’s one of a kind.
The Lightning offers up to 9.6 kw of power through outlets in the frunk and bed. And thanks to its Intelligent Backup Power feature, it can power your house in the event of a blackout.
Like Tesla before it, Rivian gave the R1T a sleek and minimal interior with barely any physical buttons. A giant central touchscreen controls pretty much every vehicle feature.
The Lightning’s cab is mostly shared with Ford’s gas-powered F-150s. While it isn’t quite as tech-heavy as the Rivian, it gets a big central touchscreen as well. Both vehicles can receive over-the-air software updates.