Electric trucks are shaping up to be the most powerful and capable vehicles around. One of the most exciting matchups is the Ford F-150 Lightning versus the Tesla Cybertruck. The entry-level Ford Lightning offers more value than the base-model Cybertruck. But most owners will opt for a higher trim level: The Ford Lightning Platinum and the Tesla Cybertruck Tri-Motor. Find out which of these fully-loaded electric trucks offers a better package.
Self-Driving, Tesla Cybertruck Tri-Motor Price: $79,900
The Cybertruck is a statement. Its bare-metal exoskeleton is impossible to ignore. The angular body panels look more like a spaceship a hardboiled detective would fly around the Bladerunner universe than a modern car. The interior is just as memorable, with an imposing monolithic dash and leather seating for six passengers.
Every trim level of Tesla Cybertruck features an upgraded drivetrain. The entry-level Cybertuck is a single-motor, RWD model. The next tier is the two-motor, AWD version. The top-trim Cybertruck boasts three motors and more battery capacity. So while a fully-loaded Cybertruck may look just like the entry-level pickup, it will be significantly more capable.
The top trim Cybertruck is the tri-motor AWD model. It costs $69,900 and comes with an improved battery pack as well. This Cybertruck can accelerate to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. It has a 14,000-pound towing capacity. And its range will be 500 miles.
For $10,000 more (totaling $79,900) a fully loaded Cybertruck Tri-Motor also comes with all the sensors required for Tesla’s full self-driving system. Tesla stipulates that it cannot control local regulations, which may limit the deployment of its self-driving software.
Elon Musk offers significant value with each trim level. His customers trust that upgrading is worth the money; most Cybertruck reservations are for well-optioned trucks.
Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum Price: $89,874
Ford loves to remind us that the F-150 is America’s favorite truck, but it is the king for a reason. The F-150 Lightning is a highly anticipated EV. In the spring of 2021, Ford sent its 2022 F-150 Lightning reservation holders a survey with a rough outline of each model to gauge their interest in upgrades. The sales team listed the Ford F-150 Platinum Lightning at $89,874.
The top-trim F-150 Lightning offers no drivetrain upgrades unavailable at lower levels. Mid and low trim Lightning buyers will have to dish out $10,000 to upgrade their range from 250 miles to 300 miles. Meanwhile, this bigger battery pack will be standard on the Lariat and Platinum. Upgrade or none, the Lightning Platinum will leave you stranded hundreds of miles before the cheaper top-trim Cybertruck.
The Lariat and Platinum Ford Lightnings will also come standard with the 563 horsepower dual-engine option. But again, they will still lag behind the cheaper Cybertruck by over a hundred horsepower–and an entire motor. These Lightnings will also have Ford’s BlueCruise “self-driving” technology. But unlike Tesla’s planned self-driving mode, BlueCruise only works on divided highways.
When customers pay nearly $90K for the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum, what they are paying for the value of 22″ rims, chrome grille, Nirvana leather seats, wood interior, and Bang and Olufsen sound system.
The differences between the F-150 Lightning Platinum and the Tri-Motor Cybertruck highlight Ford and Tesla’s opposite approaches to the electric truck market. Ford is using the strategy it has used to upsell F-150s for decades. Every Ford Lightning has a comparable drivetrain, and upper trim trucks have premium interiors and lots of chrome to differentiate them from their workhorse cousins. But Ford’s strategy is dated: at the top of the price range, Tesla leaves Ford far behind.
Tesla, on the other hand, has established a jaw-dropping prototype. They will offer this truck at multiple trim models, adding significant value at each level, but without bedazzling the more expensive models. This strategy works, Tesla owners in the past have opted for higher-tech trims. This strategy will likely work again, and Tesla will sell many more Tri-Motor Cybertrucks per capita than Ford will sell F-150 Lightning Platinums.