Ford F-150 Lightning vs. Tesla Cybertruck: The Faster, Stronger, Longer-Range Choice Is Also Cheaper

First, automakers competed over electric cars. And now, they’re vying for the best electric truck. Ford hasn’t been content with letting Tesla enter the pickup segment with the Cybertruck. So the Blue Oval finally unveiled the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning. But can this exciting new pickup truck beat Tesla at its own game?

The Ford F-150 Lightning boasts impressive numbers

When Ford revealed the F-150 Lightning, it was clear that, unlike the Mustang Mach-E, the automaker wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel. The Lightning looks like a typical F-150 pickup truck, but it’s definitely more than that. Indeed, the Lightning’s numbers are competitive. Starting at about $40,000 without considering the tax credit, the Lightning is already impressive, MotorTrend reports.

Though $40,000 isn’t cheap, the federal EV tax credit could drop the F-150 Lightning’s price closer to the $30,000 range. Speaking of range, the standard Lightning can go 230 miles on a full charge, while the extended-range version gets 300 miles. Those are already great numbers, but then there’s the power. The standard version produces 426 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque, while the extended range harnesses a whopping 563 hp with 775 lb-ft of torque. 

The Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds, carry 2,000 pounds of payload, and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds when properly equipped, MotorTrend reports. And it does all that while looking like any other late-model F-150 on the road today.

The Tesla Cybertruck weighs in

Like the Ford F-150 Lightning, the standard Tesla Cybertruck starts around $40,000, Car and Driver reports. However, Tesla EVs are no longer eligible for the federal tax credit, so the Lightning probably wins at base price. That said, the Cybertruck’s and Lightning’s specs are generally comparable.

For example, the standard single-motor Cybertruck should get about 250 miles of range, Car and Driver says. That’s roughly the same range as the standard Lightning. The twin-motor Cybertruck can go an estimated 300 miles. That’s exactly the same range as the longest-range Lightning model.

In addition, the twin-motor Cybertruck’s acceleration speed is roughly the same as the F-150 Lightning’s acceleration speed. Tesla claims the twin-motor Cybertruck can zip from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds — 0.1 seconds slower than the Lightning’s best time.

As for towing, the twin-motor Cybertruck offers the same max towing capacity as the Lightning, both topping out at 10,000 pounds. That said, the Tesla pickup’s max payload capacity is a bit better, at 3,500 pounds, Car and Driver notes. 

But the Cybertruck isn’t done yet. It has yet another model, one that could deliver a punch that knocks the Lightning’s lights out.

The heavyweight enters the ring

Where the Tesla Cybertruck beats the F-150 Lightning is in its most powerful model. Ford has no plans to add a third motor to the Lightning, MotorTrend reports. But the Cybertruck has a tri-motor model. With three motors, the Cybertruck blows the Lightning away.

According to Tesla, the tri-motor Cybertruck can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.9 seconds. That’s sports car territory. This model’s towing capacity also jumps to 14,000 pounds, significantly more than the Lightning’s capability. And when it comes to range, Tesla expects its tri-motor truck to go about 500 miles on a full charge.

Price-wise, that model starts at about $70,000. That’s cheaper than the most expensive Lightning trim, the Platinum, starting at a whopping $90,000.

So, those specs considered, we declare the tri-motor Tesla Cybertruck the winner of this bout against the Ford F-150 Lightning.

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