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The Ford F-150 Lightning is an all-electric pickup truck many people are excited about because it’s an EV with the looks and utility of a truck. That said, some of the F-150 Lightning’s most formidable competitors may not be EVs right now but regular gas-powered pickup trucks. Here’s a look at how far a Ford F-150 Lightning can tow a load compared to a regular GMC Sierra

Comparing the specs of the Ford F-150 Lightning and the GMC Sierra

A blue Ford Lightning.
Ford Lightning | Getty Images

The F-150 Lightning is Ford’s first electric pickup truck, and it has the specs to impress. The standard Lightning has two electric motors with 452 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. It has a 98-kWh battery that’ll allow it to go 230 miles. Ford offers an extended range option to boost the Lightning’s power and range capabilities. The extended range option will get 580 hp from its two motors, and its 131-kWh battery will get 320 miles of range instead. On top of that, with the extended range option, the Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds of stuff. 

The GMC Sierra is also a capable truck. The standard Sierra has a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which gets 310 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. GMC offers several engine options for the truck, and one of the most powerful engine options is the 6.2-liter V8. This engine gets 420 hp and 460 lb-ft torque, but it’ll only get about 18 mpg combined. When properly equipped, the Sierra can tow up to 13,200 pounds. 

Range testing the F-150 Lightning against the GMC Sierra

According to Inside EVs, a YouTube channel, The Fast Lane Truck, recently pitted the Lightning against the Sierra in a towing contest. Cars, no matter if they’re an EV or gas-powered, will become less efficient when they’re towing something heavy. This real-world experiment aimed to compare the Lightning against the Sierra when the two trucks were towing the same trailer. 

The Lightning was equipped with the 320-mile extended range option, while the Sierra was equipped with its 6.2-liter V8 option. The Sierra has a 24-gallon gas tank, so at its average fuel economy, that equates to a range of about 430 miles. The two trucks towed trailer was a 20-foot long, 6,000-pound trailer from ATC. When the experiment started, The Fast Lane Truck simply drove the trucks until they ran out of juice.

Here’s how that video ended

The result isn’t too surprising. Although 320 miles of range is a lot for an EV when towing that 6,000-pound trailer, the Lightning only managed to go 90 miles before it needed to charge. That said, The Fast Lane Truck did not drive the Lightning until its battery went to zero, so its true range would’ve been slightly more than 90 miles. The Sierra, meanwhile, managed to go 160 miles, which is a difference of about 70 miles. 

While the GMC truck ultimately had a longer range, the Lightning truck was more efficient. The two trucks had a range difference of about 110 miles without towing anything, but when towing something, that range difference dropped to 70 miles. Plus, it was cheaper to fuel up the Ford. It only costs about $30 to recharge the Lightning, while filling up the Sierra’s gas tank cost about $100. That said, it takes longer to recharge the Lightning than refill the Sierra’s gas tank.


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