- Ford and GM’s pickup-truck rivalry has gone electric.
- But which is better — the new Chevy Silverado EV or the Ford F-150 Lightning?
- The Silverado EV promises better range and performance, but both have a lot in common.
Ford revealed its electric pickup truck to the world almost a year before Chevrolet unveiled its Silverado EV this week. But there’s one clear advantage to going second: You know exactly what you need to beat.
General Motors took notes on the F-150 Lightning’s topline numbers, it seems, and produced a truck that outdoes them ever so slightly across the board. It’s not all that surprising, given that the two Detroit automakers have been rivals for a century and have spent decades duking it out over the pickup market in particular.
No matter the differences between the two trucks, odds are that Ford people will lean toward the Lightning and Chevy folks will swing Silverado EV. Still, plenty of buyers have no allegiance to the bowtie or the Blue Oval. For them, let’s compare and contrast the Silverado EV and F-150 Lightning.
These trucks have a lot in common. Both have dual electric motors and standard all-wheel drive. Both will only be sold with four doors. Both Chevy and Ford will sell a lower-cost, work-oriented model alongside lavish, fully-loaded versions pushing six figures.
On paper, both pickups are monstrously powerful and quick, claiming to hit 60 mph in around 4.5 seconds. Both trucks will be able to tow up to 10,000 pounds at launch and both promise to travel a long distance on a full charge of their large battery packs.
Both companies went for a mostly conventional interior with some techy flair. Neither truck has a totally sparse, buttonless cabin like you’d find in a Tesla, but both offer large touchscreens. Each truck also delivers a slew of fun capabilities. Both come with a front trunk and a mobile-generator feature for powering tools or one’s home.
Ford and GM took different approaches in designing and building their trucks. The Lightning shares its styling and much of its body with the gas-powered F-150. The idea was to give buyers a familiar-feeling truck that works with all the popular Ford accessories.
GM, by contrast, developed the Silverado EV from scratch. It doesn’t look all that similar to its gas-fueled sibling.
Comparing the trucks’ stats side by side, you get the impression that GM saw the Lightning’s specs and options and thought: “We can do slightly better.”
But a Chevrolet spokesperson told Insider that “the development of the Silverado EV was about creating the best possible solutions for our customers, not about looking at the competition.”
The Silverado’s base MSRP is $39,900, undercutting the Lightning by $74. All-important torque measures in at up to 780 pound-feet, a tad more than the Lightning’s 775 pound-feet. The Silverado makes up to 664 horsepower, compared with the Lightning’s 563. The Lightning boasts a higher maximum payload capacity, though: 2,000 pounds versus the Silverado’s 1,300.
Chevy touts a driving range of 400 miles, 100 miles farther than Ford’s estimate for the Lightning. The Silverado can also accept a higher charging rate than its rival — 350 kilowatts versus 150 kilowatts — allowing it to add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes, according to GM. The Silverado EV offers 10.2 kilowatts of onboard electricity, a smidgen more than the F-150’s 9.6 kilowatts.
Comparing the Silverado EV and the F-150 Lightning is a bit like comparing apples to, well, other apples.
They have their differences, but both bring a lot to the table: long range, plenty of performance, appealing styling, and unique features. We’ll have to get these trucks out on the road and drive them before we can declare a true winner.