Ford F-150 Lightning vs Chevrolet Silverado EV – Full-size Pickup Truck Rivalry Renewed!
The Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado carry over their rivalry to the EV segmentby Sidd Dhimaan, on
It seems like Chevrolet was in no hurry to roll out the Silverado EV. It came out nearly eight months after Ford launched the F-150 Lightning. But, now that the truck is here, it seems to be worth the wait. It is well loaded and comes with a lot of stuff that would give the F-150 Lightning a run for its money. For now, the Bowtie has revealed just two trims, but there are some more in the pipeline, including an off-road-oriented trim.
So, here’s the biggest question – how does the Chevy Silverado EV square up against the Ford F-150 Lightning? Here’s all you need to know about the age-old rivalry that’s now carried forward to the EV segment!
The Ford F-150 Lightning is offered in three trims – XLT, Lariat, and Platinum. There is another work trim called Pro. It will be available only in the SuperCrew four-door body style with a 5.5-foot bed.
The Silverado EV, to start with, will be offered in two trims – WT and RST First Edition. Here, too, you get just one body style – the Crew Cab. There’s no word on the size of the bed yet.
The company plans to roll out more trims as well. For now, we know that the off-road-oriented Trailboss is also coming. However, the automaker has mentioned various price points in its press release, which suggests many other trims will make the cut. The RST is a given, and so is the LTZ. We’ll have to see if LT and High Country will be offered or not.
To touch upon their naming philosophies, Ford decided to tap into the emotional quotient by reviving a yesteryear moniker, whereas Chevy has kept it simple.
Looks are subjective, so I’m not going to pick a favorite here. To be honest, I liked both the designs. Ford has pinned the F-150 Lightning on a high-strength steel frame and said that the body and bed are composed of high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy. The Silverado EV is based on a narrower version of the Ultium platform that also underpins the Hummer EV.
The F-150 Lightning looks modern and in line with the designs that you see on EVs (read: futuristic). You get a full-width LED strip and a closed grille up front. There’s a full-width LED strip on the tailgate as well. You get something known as Zone Lighting here. It basically lights up the truck’s surroundings and will be very helpful when camping at night. The Pro and XLT trims come with 18-inch wheels, the Lariat with 20-inch, and Platinum with 22-inch wheels.
The Silverado EV looks pretty sweet too. It has a strong resemblance to the Chevy Avalanche, especially when viewed from the side. The RST looks smart whereas the WT has more panels, black cladding and bumpers, etc. The company gave us a glimpse of the Trailboss trim, too, and it seemed to be equipped with all-terrain tires and unique wheels. It also had a higher stance. The RST First Edition will come with massive 24-inch wheels from the factory. If I’d get one with such big wheels, I would think twice before taking it off the tarmac even for a second.
As for the suspension system, the F-150 Lightning comes with an independent double-wishbone with coilover shocks at the front, and independent semi-trailing arms at the rear. The Silverado EV will also come with independent front and rear suspensions. Automatic adaptive air suspension and four-wheel-steering and some other things the RST First Edition will be offered with. This makes us wonder if Hummer EV’s Crab Walk could be made available as well.
Another notable difference between the two is the tailgates. The F-150 Lightning comes with a simple power tailgate, whereas the Silverado EV will feature a Multi-Flex tailgate. The Lightning’s tailgate comes with an integrated ‘Tailgate Work Surface’ that’s basically a workstation on the tailgate that comes with a ruler, clamp mounts, tie-down rings. It also doubles up as a bottle opener and a tablet holder. It is offered on the Lariat and the Platinum, and is optional on the XLT.
The Silverado EV’s Multi-Flex tailgate, on the other hand, seems more versatile when looked at from a general standpoint. It is exactly the same as the MultiPro tailgate offered on GMC trucks. It can be operated in six different ways, including as a step to climb into the bed. You also get something known as the Multi-Flex Midgate here which helps expand the truck’s cargo capability while maintaining seating for a rear row passenger. It’s a 60:40 kind of a situation with the rear privacy glass and bed wall falling down to accommodate longer stuff.
Towing and Payload Capacities
The capacities vary depending on the battery pack. With the Standard-Range battery equipped, the F-150 Lightning can tow up to 7,700 pounds and haul up to 2,000 pounds. With the Extended-Range battery, you’ll be able to tow up to 10,000 pounds, provided you get the Maximum Trailer Tow Package. One-million pounds what? The maximum payload capacity comes in at 1,800 pounds. The F-150 Lightning features similar mounting points to the current F-150 for easy fitting along with a standard Class IV hitch.
In the case of the Silverado EV, the ratings are different for both the models announced for now. You’ll be able to tow up 10,000 pounds and haul up to 1,300 pounds in the RST First Edition. In the WT, the maximum towing and payload capacities are rated at 8,000- and 1,200 pounds, respectively. Chevrolet noted that it will release a Max Tow Package after the EV is launched that will allow you to tow up to 20,000 pounds.
The cabins in both the trucks are pretty good and you won’t have any complaints whatsoever. The ergonomics are something we can’t comment about, but they seem loaded to the gills in terms of features. Chevy is yet to announce details about the upholstery and the cabin themes, but Ford has given the details. You get Vinyl bucket seats on the Pro model, cloth seats on the XLT, leather-appointed seats on the Lariat, and Premium Nirvana leather seats on the Platinum. You also get a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat on the Lariat and the Platinum trims, whereas Max Recline Seats are optional on the Platinum trims. These are seats that can fold flat to nearly 180-degree and serve as a bed for you to take a nap in. No such details are known about the Silverado EV.
In terms of technology, you get a 15.5-inch touchscreen powered by the SYNC4A system on the Lariat and Platinum trims, and a 12-inch touchscreen on the XLT and Pro models. You also get a 12-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. The RST First Edition Silverado EV will come with a bigger 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system, an 11-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 14-inch head-up display.
Other create comforts on the F-150 Lightning include Push Button Start, 360-degree Camera, 18-speaker B&O sound system on the Platinum, etc. Chevy is yet to give out the complete feature list, but it has one thing the Lightning doesn’t – the Super Cruise Hands-Free Driver Assistance Technology. It can be used on 200,000 miles of roads in the U.S. and Canada. There’s the Interior Work Surface in the F-150 Lightning that comes standard on all trims but Pro. Here, the gear lever folds down and provides a flat surface that can be used to place laptops, sign documents, or have lunch. Nothing of that sort on the Silverado EV.
Powertrain and Battery
All the trims on both, the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Silverado EV, come with two motors as standard. The F-150 Lightning comes with two battery options – Standard Range and Extended Range. There’s no word on the capacities yet, but based on the charging times and some back-of-the-envelope calculations, the Standard Range pack might be around 120 kWh, whereas the Extended Range pack might be around 175 kWh. The Silverado EV, for now, is announced with a single battery pack. Using the F-150 Lightning’s math as the benchmark, we speculate a 200 kWh battery pack on the Silverado EV.
The Standard Range pack is standard on the Pro, XLT, and Lariat trims. The Extended Range pack is standard on Platinum and optional on XLT and Lariat. The Silverado, for now, is announced with just one pack.
As for the power outputs on the F-150 Lightning, they differ based on the battery pack equipped.
With the Standard-Range battery pack, the EV churns out 426 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque. With the Extended-Range battery pack and you’ll have 563 horses and the same 775 pound-feet of torque at your disposal.
Things are a little different on the Silverado.
The WT trim will make 510 horses and 615 pound-feet of torque, whereas the RST First Edition is said to make 664 horsepower and 780 pound-feet of torque.
The 0-60 mph times weren’t revealed, but Ford noted that the F-150 Lightning will be able to sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in mid-four seconds. This is similar to the RST First Edition’s numbers, which can touch 60 mph from rest in 4.5 seconds with the ‘Wide Open Watts’ (WOW) Mode.
The Silverado trumps the F-150 Lightning in this department as well. The F-150 Lightning with the Standard Range battery is good for 230 miles on a single charge, whereas the Extended Range battery will stay with you for 300 miles before it gives up.
The Silverado EV will have a range of 400 miles, which is significantly more than the F-150 Lightning’s. For now, Chevy has announced only one battery pack option, but we are certain a smaller pack will be offered, too. We speculate a range of 250-280 miles on that, which will be more than the Ford Standard Range pack’s 230-mile range.
Ford has given out a detailed explanation of the charging times. It supports up to 150 kW of DC fast-charging.
In the case of the Standard Range battery, the times are as follows:
- 150 kW DC charger: 15 to 80-percent in 44 minutes/41 miles of range in 10 minutes
- 50 kW charger: 15 to 80-percent in 91 minutes
- 240W mobile charger: 15 to 100-percent in 14 hours
- Ford Charge Station Pro or a Connected Charger Station: 10 hours to 100-percent
With the Extended Range battery in your truck, expect the following times:
- 150 kW DC charger: 15 to 80-percent in 41 minutes/54 miles of range in 10 minutes
- 50 kW charger: 15 to 80-percent in 122 minutes
- 240W mobile charger: 15 to 100-percent in 19 hours
- Ford Charge Station Pro: Eight hours to 100-percent
- Connected Charger Station: 13 hours to 100-percent
Exact details for the Chevy Silverado aren’t known yet, but we know that the battery will support up to 350 kW DC fast-charging, thanks to the 800-volt architecture. You can add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes.
The F-150 Lightning comes with the Pro Power Onboard as standard. You get a 2.4 kW Pro Power Onboard on the Pro and XLT trims, and a 9.6 kW capacity generator on the Lariat and Platinum. The smaller capacity onboard generator features eight 120V outlets – two in the cab, two in the bed, and four in the frunk. With the larger one, you get ten 120V outlets - and two in the cab, four in the bed, and four in the frunk, and also a 240V outlet in the bed.
The Silverado EV will be offered with a 10.2 kW PowerBase charging system onboard generator. It is said to be optional, but that could be on the lower trims. Expect the top trims to have it as standard. It will come with up to 10 outlets that can be used for the worksite or recreational needs. It can also be used to power your home. You can also charge another EV with your Silverado EV using an accessory charge cord that will be available as an optional accessory.
The Ford’s generator can do the same as well. In fact, when the weather in Texas got bad early last year, Ford urged the dealerships in the state to loan out the F-150s with Pro Power Onboard people in need. There were 415 F-150s with the ProPower Onboard in the lots that Ford told the dealerships to loan out. To make it worth their while, the automaker offered an incentive of $600 for every truck loaned out. Mind you, this was the gas-powered F-150 with the ProPower Onboard and not the F-150 Lightning.
There’s no word whether the lower trims will have a smaller capacity generator in the Silverado.
Ford recently revealed the prices of the F-150 Lightning. Here’s how each trim is priced:
- Pro - $39,974
- XLT (SR) - $52,974
- Lariat (SR) - $67,474
- Platinum - $90,874
The XLT and Lariat trims can be had with the Extended Range battery pack as well. You’ll have to pay an additional $10,000 for the bigger battery on both trims. However, you’ll have to add the XLT 312A Equipment package worth $19,500 on the XLT, which makes the ER option $19,500 more than the SR XLT. There’s no such requirement on the Lariat, so the difference between Lariat SR and Lariat ER is flat $10,000.
The pricing for these trims with the Extended Range battery is:
- XLT (ER) - $72,474
- Lariat (ER) - $77,474
The online configurator went live recently and we played around to see how expensive the F-150 Lightning can get with add-ons and paid options. The answer is $97,249. This includes the base price, cost of the optional items, and the destination fee, but doesn’t account for the credits and rebates.
Chevrolet has also announced the prices of the two trims that will be launched:
- WT - $39,900
- RST First Edition - $105,000
Do note that the prices don’t include the destination fee or account for the federal tax credits.
Now, on paper, the entry-level pricing seems to be on par. There’s parity in the top-spec pricing, but most people who are ready to shell out around $100,000 for a vehicle won’t let the price be a deciding factor. The automaker even announced that there will be multiple offerings with a starting price of around $50,000, $60,000, $70,000, $80,000, etc. So, there will be something for everyone here as well.
That said, the biggest differentiating factor comes in the form of the federal tax credits. GM has exhausted the 200,000 EV cap, which means GM EVs aren’t eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credits. On the other hand, the Ford F-150 Lightning is. When you also count in the state taxes, the F-150 Lightning turns out to be much cheaper than any full-size gas-powered truck that you can buy today. In Maine, it can cost you as low as $26,974! Now, someone buying either of them as work truck will surely notice the price difference, thus giving Ford a distinct advantage here. All GM can do now is wait for the GREEN Act to be passed!
We can’t wait to have all the details about the Silverado EV so that we can know exactly how it compares to the F-150 Lightning. There are a lot of electric trucks that will be going up against these two, like the Rivian R1T, the Tesla Cybertruck, the Bollinger B2, the Lordstown Endurance, etc. However, they cater to different customers or at different price points, thus leaving the F-150 Lightning and the Silverado EV to take on each other.
The reservations for the Chevrolet Silverado EV are already open and you can book yours for $100. Only the WT is available at the time of writing this because the RST First Edition has been completely booked. The company’s CEO, Mary Barry, told Bloomberg that the RST First Edition was sold out in 12 minutes!
The Silverado EV WT trim will arrive in Spring 2023, whereas the top-sped RST First Edition will come in Fall 2023. The F-150 Lightning’s deliveries are expected to begin in Spring this year. The automaker had to stop taking reservations after it had 200,000 bookings. Ford was targeting production of 40,000 F-150 Lightning annually earlier, then raised it to 80,000, and will ramp it up to 150,000 by mid-2023.