Rivian R1T vs. Ford F-150 Lighting: An Electric Pickup Showdown
All electric car companies started with crossovers, and are now venturing out from there. Not only are we getting a better selection of smaller electric cars, we’re also getting larger ones, and that includes electric trucks. The Rivian R1T has long been considered one of the best electric trucks out there, and for good reason. It is modern, high-tech and elegant. But there’s still something to be said for experience, and no one has more experience building trucks than Ford.
The standard Ford F-150 is known for its amazing sales in the United States, and Ford is using that name for its electric truck as well. The Ford F-150 Lightning takes the best things about the Ford F-150 and combines them with an electric motor and state-of-the-art technology.
But which electric truck is ultimately better – the Rivian R1T or the Ford F-150 Lightning? Here’s what you need to know.
The Rivian R1T is designed to bring a fresh take on truck design – and it actually looks like nothing before it. The R1T features a light strip along the front, punctuated by two oval headlights that give the truck a unique touch. This wide light bar is matched at the back. Speaking of the back, the R1T’s bed is 54 inches long with the tailgate up, or 83.6 inches with the tailgate down. It is 51.1 inches wide.
However, the Ford F-150 Lightning is far from an ugly truck. It may not look quite as unique as Rivian, but it adds to the F-150’s classic styling with a light stripe along the front that extends down the sides slightly. Since the F-150 Lightning takes its styling cues from the standard model, you’ll find a faux grille up front, and more traditional taillights at the back. The bed in the truck is 67.1 inches long with the tailgate down, and 50.6 inches wide — so it’s a bit larger than the one in the Rivian.
While some buyers prefer Ford’s upscale design, if innovation is considered at all, Rivian is the clear winner here.
Winner: Rivian R1T
Interior and technology
The Rivian R1T is designed to deliver a modern driving experience, which extends to the truck’s interior as well. This state-of-the-art experience is centered around a 15.6-inch infotainment display, which is paired with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Many drivers rated the R1T software as very good, especially when compared to the sub-par software offered by most older automakers.
Aside from the technology, the R1T features five seats, with seat heating, ventilation, and power adjustments. It’s safe to say that the driver and passengers should remain relatively comfortable.
The interior of the Ford F-150 Lightning is a little different. The Lightning also has a 15.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment — but by all accounts, the software loaded onto that screen isn’t quite as impressive as the software found in the Rivian. However, it does have one key advantage: unlike Rivian, the F-150 supports Lightning CarPlay and Android Auto. The Lightning also has five seats, which are also very comfortable, with vinyl upholstery and heating. Manual adjustments come standard, with power-adjustable seats available as an option.
It’s nice that Ford offers CarPlay and Android Auto, but Rivian’s carefully designed software brings more benefits to the in-cabin experience.
Winner: Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T is available in three options. The base model is all-wheel drive through two motors, and is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, offering a range of 340 miles. It’s a step up from there for the dual-motor “performance” model, which improves acceleration time to 3.5 seconds and offers a range of up to 350 miles. Last but not least is the all-wheel-drive model with four-wheel drive, which hits 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and has a range of 328 miles.
The Rivian R1T is rated to be able to tow up to 11,000 pounds — but you should expect a significant drop in range if you do. In fact, Car And Driver noted that switching the truck to tow mode reduces the range from 270 miles to just 103 miles.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is no slouch either. A number of different models offer a range of between 230 miles and 320 miles, and acceleration to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds at most. The F-150 Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds — but again, that will severely impact your range.
It’s safe to say that the Rivian R1T offers longer range and faster acceleration. It’s the car with the best performance here.
Winner: Rivian R1T
Pricing and availability
The Rivian R1T is available now, however, Rivian indicates that delivery could take up to 16 weeks. Pricing starts at $79,000 for the base model, and goes up to $87,000 for the Quad Motor AWD model, without additional options.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is also available now, but like Rivian, deliveries are expected to take some time. At the time of this writing, depending on the model, you can get an F-150 Lightning in between 1.5 and 2.5 months. The truck starts at $51,990 and goes up to over $100,000 depending on which model you get.
On starting price alone, the Ford wins this one, and it’s not competitive.
Winner: Ford F-150 Lightning
It can be difficult to determine which electric truck is right for your needs. After all, the Ford F-150 Lightning starts at a much lower price, but it also has less range and worse performance overall. If you can afford it, it might be worth buying the more modern Rivian R1T — but if you need a little more room in the truck bed, or want to save some cash, the F-150 Lightning is a great electric truck.
(Tags for translation)Cars