Ford F-150 Lightning Versus Rivian R1T: Which One Has a Phantom Drain Problem

The electric revolution has hit the truck market, and great electric trucks such as the Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150 Lightning are competing for the wallets of truck fans. Those two electric trucks are very capable and they have some impressive specs, but there are some key differences between them. Here’s a look at the 2022 Rivian R1T and the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning and which electric truck has a phantom drain problem.

The electric revolution is only accelerating 

The front of several Rivian R1T trucks in a row.
Rivian R1T | Getty Images

More and more car shoppers are choosing to buy an EV every year, and this trend will soon become the law. For example, California recently passed legislation that bans the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035, and there are benchmarks that automakers will have to hit along the way. Other states will likely join California in issuing this ban.

It will not be a quick or easy transition, as a lot of infrastructure will need to be created to accommodate EVs. That’s exactly what President Biden’s infrastructure bill and Inflation Reduction Act will do, as it provides a lot of funding for EVs and EV-related infrastructure. Not only that, but the electric revolution is something many automakers are embracing.

Many automakers have already announced plans on how they’re going to enter the electric future. Most are going to take it slow and introduce more and more EVs every year. Some automakers, such as Buick, plan to have an all-electric lineup by 2030. As more countries pass laws to support the electric revolution, automakers are likely going to get more aggressive with their rollout of EVs. 

A look at the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T and the phantom drain problem

Two EVs that are competing with each other right now are the Rivian R1T, which is the first modern production electric truck, and the Ford F-150 Lightning, which is the second. Both trucks offer some great features, with Rivian having practical things like its gear tunnel, and the Lightning looking very similar to the popular F-150.

That said, the Lightning holds one big advantage over the R1T right now, according to Autoevolution, and that has to do with the phantom drain problem. This problem is simple, but it can be very annoying. Phantom drain simply means that the EV’s battery is losing charge even though owners aren’t using their car. And unfortunately, this problem seems to affect the R1T right now.

When both trucks were left outside for just under two weeks, the Lightning barely lost any range. It was still at 100% charge, and its max range was down by five miles. In contrast, the R1T lost 27% of its range. This issue may be a software issue, and it’s why Rivian has been trying to fix this issue with a software update. 

An overview of the specs of these two electric trucks

Asides from that phantom drain problem, both trucks are good trucks. The standard Lightning starts at about $40,000, while the R1T starts at about $69,000. The Lightning has two electric motors that get 452 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, while the R1T has four electric motors that get 835 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque.

The standard Lightning gets about 230 miles of range, but Ford offers an extended range option that gets 320 miles. The R1T, meanwhile, gets 314 miles of range, but there’s no extended range option. In terms of truck things, the Ford can tow up to 10,000 pounds and it has a payload capacity of 2,000 pounds. The Rivian can tow 11,000 pounds and it has a payload capacity of 1,760 pounds.

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