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The Tesla Cybertruck versus the Ford F-150 Lightning will be the most dramatic bout of 2022. It is a daring prototype versus America’s bestselling truck; a California startup versus a Detroit giant; the old versus the new. But does the Cybertruck or Ford Lightning offer the best value?

The Single Motor, RWD Tesla Cybertruck Price: $39,900 

This is a publicity shot of the vault of the Tesla Cybertruck with a price under $40,000. The Ford Lightning offers similar value.
Tesla Cybertruck | Tesla

In 2019, Elon Musk captured the world’s attention with his dramatic Tesla Cybertruck prototype. He also captured imaginations with the starting price: under $40,000.

The entry-level Tesla Cybertruck only has one motor. It will be RWD and not AWD. This base truck’s range is an estimated 250 miles. Its towing capacity is a respectable 7,500 pounds. It should be able to hit 60 mph in less than 6.5 seconds. A fully self-driving mode will be a $10,000 feature, but the base model will come with Tesla’s Autopilot option.

For $39,900, you will only get Tesla’s entry-level drivetrain and battery pack. But you will also get a Cybbertruck. This includes the intimidating Cyberpunk-inspired exoskeleton. The body is made of “Ultra-Hard” 30X cold-rolled stainless steel. The windows are all Tesla armor glass. The cabin offers leather seating for six people.

The base Tesla Cybertruck even comes with adaptive air suspension. This system allows you to raise or lower the truck four inches and auto-levels while loaded. On the trail, you can jack it up for 16-inches of ground clearance.

The Cybertruck does not have a bed; it has a Tesla “Vault.” This 6.5-foot load deck offers 100 cubic feet of lockable storage. This base model Cybertruck will be a capable, cutting-edge electric pickup. In many ways, the Cybertruck raised the bar. But if you need AWD or want multiple motors, you will need to shell out $49,900.

AWD Ford F-150 Lightning Starts At $39,974

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Value Pro. Pre-production model with available features shown. Available starting spring 2022. Competitive price with the Tesla Cybertruck.
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro | Ford

In 2021, Ford unveiled the new F-150 Lightning. It is the long-awaited electric version of America’s favorite truck. Ford announced that the Lightning would start at $39,974–and the base truck will feature a dual-motor, AWD drivetrain.

The entry-level Ford Lightning Pro offers more value than any truck in 2022–either electric or traditional. The Lightning Pro matches the Cybertruck’s technology; it features Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 Driver Assist technologies and Ford Sync 4 software. The new truck even features a 12″ landscape-oriented touchscreen and fold-down workspace.

Much of the Ford Lightning Pro’s value is being-job-site ready. It provides 2.4 kW of onboard power through 120V and USB outlets. This includes outlets in the truck’s 14.1 cubic foot front trunk, the largest of any electric truck. In addition, the Lightning Pro’s 250-mile battery pack can power the average home through a three-day outage–and Ford has wired it to do so.

The Most Value Under $40,000

US currency is seen in a back pocket on March 4, 2021 in New York City. - The pandemic has crippled millions of jobs in the United States but it has had the unexpected effect of increasing the level of savings of Americans, especially that of wealthy households assigned to home and forced to give up travel and entertainment. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
$100 Bills | TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

The Lightning Pro looks very much like a fleet truck, with vinyl seats and floor-mats and a plastic bumper. But it will cost less than a fleet-model F-150. After a $7,500 electric vehicle federal tax credit, the Lightning Pro will cost buyers just $32,473. Some states offer additional local tax credits. A similarly-equipped fleet-model F-150, with four doors and 4WD, costs $10,000 more: $42,850. The Ford Lightning Pro offers better value than any truck, electric or traditional.

Tesla, on the other hand, has run out of federal tax credits to offer its customers. Though the entry-level Cybertruck offers a lot of value, it loses this round. At the bottom of the price range, the Ford F-150 Lightning offers more value than the Tesla Cybertruck.


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