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The 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is a full-sized electric pickup truck, and it serves as Ford’s answer to competitors in the growing electric truck segment. One of those competitors is the Rivian R1T, which also has the distinction of being the first electric pickup truck to enter the American auto market. The two electric trucks are solid options in their own way, but here’s a look at the one area where the 2023 Ford F-150 Lighting easily beats the Rivian R1T.

This is the big advantage that the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning has over the Rivian R1T

U.S. News wrote about the current electric truck segment, and while the future is bright, currently, there are only two real options for shoppers. There’s the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T. The GMC Hummer EV is also on the market, but GM is still ramping up production of the truck, so Hummer EV shoppers won’t receive their orders for a while. That leaves the F-150 Lightning and the R1T.

Rivian is an EV startup much like Tesla, and the company has fashioned itself as a builder of high-end vehicles. This means that the R1T isn’t cheap. It starts at about $73,000 right now, which makes it completely unaffordable for the average American household. The F-150 Lightning’s price, meanwhile, is far more affordable.

Despite recent price increases, the Ford electric truck starts at about $56,000. Many American households still can’t afford that price tag, but it does make the F-150 Lightning about $17,000 cheaper than its electric rival. Prices for cars change often, so that price gap may not be accurate in the near future. It’s still a huge gap to bridge, though.

Comparing the base versions of these two electric pickup trucks

The powertrain under their hoods is the main reason why these trucks are so expensive. The Ford F-150 Lightning starts with two electric motors that work together to get 462 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. It’s connected to a 98-kWh battery, and that allows owners to drive their Ford truck about 240 miles without recharging.

The R1T, meanwhile, has two electric motors that make 600 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. They’re paired to a 105-kWh battery, and that allows the truck to go 260 miles. When properly equipped, the R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds, while a properly equipped F-150 Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Both trucks are going to lose a lot of range if they tow a heavy load, though.

The F-150 Lightning comes with a 5.5-foot bed, while the R1T has a 4.5-foot bed. Both trucks have a frunk, but the R1T has a creative storage area that the company calls the Gear Tunnel. That ultimately gives the R1T more cargo area outside of the truck bed. Both are high-tech trucks, though. The Ford starts with a 12-inch touchscreen, while the R1T gets a 16-inch display. 

Is the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning better than the Rivian R1T?

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Even with tax credits, both trucks aren’t cheap, and presently, their customer base is likely going to have a lot of money. As a result, the F-150 Lightning’s cheaper price tag isn’t a very convincing argument for the truck. Some middle-class families may be swayed by the $17,000 price difference, but many won’t be.

As such, the R1T is the better truck on paper and likely in person as well. They’re both capable either way, especially if owners add options and a bigger battery to their truck.