The Rivian R1T Strikes Too Fast for the Ford Lightning

Getting to yell FIRST is an honor that the Rivian R1T gets to enjoy. It means you’re the champion, and you completed an event first, ahead of the competition. The 2022 Rivian R1T beat the Ford F-150 Lightning to production, making it the first place option in the EV race. 

The Rivian R1T enters production ahead of the Ford F-150 Lightning 

Rivian R1T electric pickup truck parked in the desert
Rivian R1T | Rivian

Congratulations to the 2022 Rivian R1T for securing a production victory against the Ford Lightning. It is the first modern all-electric pickup to enter series production, and one lucky person gets to buy it. 

It was a big event as Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe drove off in the first sellable Rivian R1T model. He was surrounded by employees at the plant in Normal, Illinois. This could mean that Rivian is ready to produce the first round of vehicles for customer deliveries. 

Rivian has faced production issues like other automakers due to the ongoing semiconductor chip shortage and Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The launch of the R1T was delayed several times. 

Can the Ford Lightning catch up to the R1T? 

One of the Rivian R1T’s most prominent competitors is the 2022 Ford Lightning. The Lightning is expected to launch next spring as a 2022 model. However, only 15,000 trucks will be built for 2022. 

The first R1T models are expected to be delivered in January 2022. This puts the R1T months ahead of the Ford F-150 Lightning. But interest in the Ford Lightning remains strong. It already has 120,000 reservations. 

Ford shared that they will continue to look for solutions to break constraints and meet customer demand. Production should increase from 15,000 trucks in 2022 to 55,000 in 2023. A new model will launch in 2025 with the goal of producing 160,000 units per year. 

It’s unclear how many R1T reservations Rivian has. But the Launch Edition sold out with about 10,000 units. Rivian also plans to build 100,000 all-electric vans for Amazon by 2030. The vans use the same platform as the Rivian truck and SUV. 

The vans will share the same platform as the Rivian truck and SUV, meaning it could be easy to manufacture all three of these vehicles quickly. Also, estimates suggest that we could see over 30,000 Rivian R1T models hit the streets in 2022. 

Is the R1T or Ford Lightning better?

Blue 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning driving on a city street
2022 Ford F-150 Lightning | Ford

You can get started in a Rivian R1T for about $67,500. The work truck version of the Ford F-150 Lightning begins at about $39,974, and the more consumer-friendly trim, known as the XLT model, starts at about $52,974. 

Depending on which Rivian trim you go for, you’ll have between 300 to 400 miles of range. The Lightning provides between 230 to 300 miles of EPA-estimated range. The R1T provides up to 750 hp and 820 lb-ft of torque. The Lightning offers up to 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque. 

The Rivian R1T is better for off-roading, but the Ford Lightning is a better work truck. The R1T is also slightly smaller than the F-150 Lightning. It might be best to take them both for a test drive to determine which option is best for your needs.

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