The long-awaited battle in electric trucks begins today.
Which among Ford (F) – Get Ford Motor Company Report, General Motors (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report, Rivian (RIVN) – Get Rivian Automotive, Inc. Class A Report and Tesla (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report will emerge victorious?
The favorite is unclear as the competitors all have their advantages and disadvantages. One key thing they have in common: full order books, even though some models – the electric Chevrolet Silverado and the Tesla Cybertruck – have not entered production. And we’ll have to wait at least another year to see all the EV trucks compete.
But buyers can right now reserve these vehicles, except for the Ford Lightning — and its reservations have been suspended due to very high demand. And the Hummer EV Edition 1 and R1T Launch Edition are no longer available.
The F-150 is Ford’s big bet. If the legacy car manufacturer does not say so, its ambitions in electrification are based on this vehicle.
If Ford can’t convince consumers that an electric pickup is as efficient and versatile as a gasoline-powered pickup, the group led by CEO Jim Farley may say goodbye to a leading role in electrification.
The F-150 has dominated vehicle sales in the U.S. for more than 40 years. It is simply the bestselling vehicle in the country. Its electric version, the F-150 Lightning, must at least replicate that success.
In view of the challenge, Ford has mixed technological innovations but above all has emphasized utility and functionality, which truck owners often prefer over tech. The gas-powered F-150 and the F-150 Lightning are basically not that different.
One point that will surprise owners of the Lightning: The vehicle has a huge frunk — a front trunk — where the engine is in the classic F-150.
In terms of capabilities, the Lightning accelerates zero to 60 mph (100 kph) in the mid-4 seconds. The vehicle’s range is 230 to 320 miles on a battery charge depending on the configuration. Payload capacity is up to 2,000 pounds and towing is up to 10,000 pounds. The Lightning comes in two configurations — standard and extended range — and has two trims, Lariat and Platinum.
F-150 Lightning Pro SR ( range 300 miles)
F-150 Lightning Pro ER (320 miles) Fleet only
F-150 Lightning XLT SR (230 miles)
F-150 Lightning XLT ER (320 miles)
F-150 Lightning Lariat SR (230 miles)
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F-150 Lightning Lariat ER (320 miles)
F-150 Lightning Platinum (300 miles)
You can recharge the battery from 15% to 80% in about 40 minutes.
Ford distinguishes itself in the pricing. The group knows well that pickup buyers aren’t ready to go broke to buy a primarily utility vehicle. The standard model starts at $39,970 before government credits. That’s more expensive than the gas-powered 2021 F-150, which starts at $29,940. And the Platinum starts at $92,669.
Rivian is all about technology. Its pickup, R1T, is a connected car, a concentration of technological innovations.
“Between the bed, front trunk, rear storage bin, under-seat compartments, center console and gear tunnel, there is over 62 cubic feet of storage — solutions for every usage,” the company said.
“Your mobile app, vehicle and charging capabilities communicate seamlessly behind the scenes via cellular or Bluetooth to help you get wherever you’re going, safely and fully charged,” the company says
It has eight modes –four for the road, and four for when it ends. Drivers can adjust ride height, suspension, pedal response, all-wheel drive and more to optimize for comfort, efficiency and performance.
R1T has an all-glass panoramic roof and touchscreen for entertainment. In terms of capabilities, the R1T is all-wheel drive. It can shoot zero to 60 mph in 3 seconds and has a towing capacity up to 11,000 pounds, while its wading depth is more than three feet, Rivian claims.
The R1T comes in three configurations: Launch Edition, Adventure and Explore.
The Launch Edition, which starts at $85,000, is no longer available. The R1T Adventure has a base price of $73,000, while the R1T Explore starts at $67,500.
Chevrolet EV Silverado
The electric Chevy Silverado will arrive in fall 2023. But GM has already done everything to stir up interest in this vehicle, which could enable CEO Mary Barra’s group to offer an EV in almost all market segments, from sedan (Bolt) to pickup via SUV (Cadillac Lyriq). This would be a big asset to attract a large clientele.
Here’s what we know so far: The electric Silverado will be able to travel up to 400 miles on a single charge. The battery capacity was not disclosed.
In the case of the RST First Edition version, which will be model year 2024, power and torque are respectively 660 horsepower and 780 pound-feet. It can tow a load of up to 10,000 pounds and its box can accommodate a load of up to 1,300 pounds. Following the launch, Chevrolet plans to land with a version capable of towing up to 20,000 pounds. There’s also a frunk.
The EV Silverado has a glass roof and it will be equipped with four-wheel steering.
Pricing for the base electric Chevrolet Silverado, the WT, will start at $39,900, but it doesn’t include destination, which is $1,695 on the current non-electric Silverado.
Noteworthy is that deliveries of the standard configuration won’t begin before summer 2024, according to GM. The other variations’ starting base price is $50,000 without destination.
GMC EV Hummer
The 2022 Hummer EV Edition 1, whose limited numbers have long been reserved, is hugely equipped, in addition to offering an extreme off-road package.
Its battery powers three electric motors that together generate close to 1,000 horsepower, enough to accelerate from 0 to 40 mph in just over three seconds.
In short, even in a 100% electric form, the Hummer remains a monster, as much by its physical bulk as its skills. The range is up to 329 miles. It has up to 7,500-pound towing capacity, and payload is up to 1,300 pounds.
The Hummer EV is initially available in a top-of-the-line $110,295 model, Edition 1, but GM plans to offer three cheaper variants: $80,000 (Hummer EV2), $90,000 (Hummer EV2X) and $100,000 (Hummer EV3X).
The Hummer EV2 will be available in spring 2024, the Hummer EV2X in spring 2023 and Hummer EV3X this fall.
GM clearly has positioned the GMC EV Hummer pickup in the high-end category.
Elon Musk and Tesla have chosen to bet on technology. The Cybertruck thus has a futuristic design. Its detractors will even say that the Cybertruck does not look like a truck at all. TheStreet recently wrote about the Cybertruck. You can read it here.
Tesla promises the Cybertruck will have as much as 500 miles of electric range and a maximum tow rating of 14,000 pounds.
The base price for a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Tesla Cybertruck is $39,900, not including destination charges. The dual-motor, all-wheel drive version starts at $49,900, and the top of the line, the tri-motor, all-wheel-drive Cybertruck costs $69,900. Tesla will start producing it in 2023 in its new factory in Austin,