Diesel vs. Electric Trucks: What’s the Better Work Truck?

Should you get a diesel or an electric work truck? It’s quickly becoming a harder-to-answer question with Ford’s new F-150 Lightning Pro on the market and Chevy’s new 2024 Silverado EV Work Truck on the way. Work trucks are all about towing and hauling. When you’re on your way to the job site, you don’t care about leather seats or an 18-speaker stereo system. Instead, you worry about more mundane things like mileage or range, torque, power and getting home when you’re done for the day. How do you answer the diesel vs. electric question?

Diesel or electric? For a lot of us it depends on the network

Charging the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck
The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning at the new Rouge Electric Vehicle Center | Ford

For many of us, the best way to decide on a diesel or an electric truck will be the local charger network and the price of diesel fuel. Anyone who’s driven past a gas station in the last year knows that diesel fuel is now $6.00 a gallon in most places. Also, you have to buy DEF. But what good is an EV if you can’t charge it? Ford and Chevy have both recognized that and each is building a fleet network for work trucks. Ford sells the Pro with fast chargers and access to the Ford charging network, and Chevy promises fast charging.

The F-150 Lightning Pro puts up diesel-rivaling numbers

a blue Ford Lighting Pro on a road
Ford Lightning Pro | Ford

There new 2022 F-150 Lightning Pro puts up diesel-rivaling numbers. Ford is now delivering F-150 Lightning trucks. The F-150 Lightning Pro version is Ford’s work EV truck, which means the Pro comes with easy-to-clean vinyl seats, lots of storage, and lots of power outlets for running tools. But, they’re already hard to find.

The new Ford F-150 Lightning Pro has 775 lb.-ft. of torque which certainly rivals many diesels for power. In fact, the Lightning is (by far) the most powerful F-150. It can tow up to 7,700 pounds with a towing package. Sure, a Power Stroke diesel F-250 can tow 12,000 pounds more, but 7,700 pounds a lot. But, the Power Stroke diesel is a $10,495 option making a base two-door F-250 a $50,000 truck, compared to the $40,000 that Ford is asking for an F-150 Lightning pro. And, the Lightning has a back seat and standard four-wheel drive.

Chevy has big plans for the Silverado EV truck

A Silverado EV work truck in gray on dirt
2024 Silverado EV WT | Chevy

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By next fall we should start seeing some 2024 Chevy Silverado EV WT, or work trucks, on the road. The Chevy is priced similarly to the Ford, but you still have to order and wait for it. However, it should be available at launch. The Silverado EV should be able to tow 8,000 pounds and haul 1,200 pounds. Its Ultium platform, the same used on the GMC Hummer EV, will have 615 lb-ft. of torque. It should have a 400-mile range. Like other work trucks, it will also have software designed for fleet tracking.

The Silverado 1500 with a 3.0-liter diesel can tow 13,300 pounds and makes 460 lb.-ft. of torque. It may make 155 lb.-ft. less than the EV, but it can tow more.

Ram has big diesels, and its EV is coming in 2023.

The Ram 1500 EV is going electric
The Ram 1500 EV electric truck | Ram

Ram is working on an EV, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until mid-2023 to see what it looks like. But Ram offers Cummins diesels that make these stupendous work trucks that can tow up to 20,000 pounds. They’re just not cheap.

For comparison, Ram does make several diesels. For the 2022 Ram 1500 you can order a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel. It’s a $4,995 option on the Ram 1500, but it can be ordered on the Tradesman work truck. It has 260 horsepower and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. Ram offers a bigger Cummins Turbo diesel in its 2500 and 3500 work trucks. The 6.7-liter inline-six in the plus-sized 2500 Tradesman is a $9,595 option on the 2500 and offers 850-lb.ft. of torque, which means it can tow 20,000 pounds.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Buy a Diesel Truck