Ford F-150 Lightning EV vs Chevrolet Silverado EV RST A Battle of Numbers
The Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado EV are itching for a fight as the two prepare to enter the growing EV segment. With both of these models promising to rewrite the script on electric pickup ownership, we wanted to see how the duo measure up and what they each offer to consumers in a few key categories.
F-150 Lightning Embraces Tradition, Silverado EV Brings Back Shape From The Dead
At first glance, it might seem that the Silverado RST's exterior styling (WT variant excluded for fairness) was dug up from the grave of the retired Chevrolet Avalanche and given a makeover worthy of a RoboCop film. However, while the resemblance is uncanny, Chevrolet is quick to point out that the Silverado is a different breed of struck. The look is a bold departure for the Silverado EV with the front fascia featuring a grille less front panel and sleek headlights that help give the truck a distinct flair. The lights themselves also blend into a lightbar that runs along the middle and helps unify them with the illuminated bowtie emblem.
The side profile is where the Avalanche mimicry is at its peak and from a few angles, it does mirror that model. But move to the rear of the truck and it morphs into textbook Silverado with the integrated bumper steps, sporty taillights, and the familiar flexgate all being seamlessly integrated into the design. It also has a massive glass panel for a sunroof too.
In contrast, the F-150 Lightning doesn't stray too far away from its ICE-powered siblings and instead adopts a design that shares the bulk of its traits with it. The front fascia adopts a grilleless look but as you move along to other parts of the truck, it's obvious that conservative lines and familiarity are a prominent theme in the Lightning's design. The rear of the truck also follows the act, but a rear lightbar helps the Lightning standout and the liftgate itself even comes with a small spoiler for enhanced aerodynamics. Both trucks also offer futuristic interiors, but we'll have to wait until we get seat time in both of them to give a clear winner though the nifty mid-gate feature on the Silverado does get a nod for functionality.
Performance Is A Silverado Strong Suit
The Silverado and the F-150 Lightning both offer dual-electric motors with the front and the rear axle each housing one. However, the Chevrolet wins the test of brawn with its setup delivering 664 hp which is noticeably stronger than the Lightning's 563 hp-setup. The Silverado also makes 5 more lbs of torque than the Ford and promises to offer a greater range with the RST slated to get 400 miles of range per charge which is lower than the estimated 300-mile range for a Lightning that's equipped with the biggest battery pack.
The Silverado also has an edge in off-road performance but in order for the truck to flex its muscles in that regard, buyers have to upgrade to the Trail Boss model but GM didn;t reveal too many details on that model, and we get to wait a while to hear more about what the Trail Boss brings in terms of capability. Both trucks can tow up to 10,000 lbs, but the Silverado RST's paltry 1,300 lb payload capacity is no match for the Lightning's 2,000 lb rating.
With both of these trucks still catering to the demand of early adopters, it should come as no surprise that both of these rigs have hefty MSRP figures (obnoxious dealer markups not included.) The RST will eventually be the range-topping trim in the Silverado EV family but for now it will be the lone flavor for consumers with the model starting at $105,000. The WT is considerably cheaper at just under $40,000 but those models will be entering fleet and commercial consumption first so they will not be mentioned again here.
The Lightning will be launching with a bigger trim pool with the truck going from $40,000 to $90,000 depending on what trim (and dealership) you go to. The Lightning will also be the one that will be arriving in dealerships first with the Silverado not being formally launched until 2023. This headstart could help the F-150 Lightning build an early sales lead, but look for the gap to tighten once the Silverado becomes more numerous in volume. As mentioned, watch out for dealer markups, but the companies are aware of this with Ford already revealing their plan to deal with the problem.
Photo Credit: General Motors/Ford
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. In addition to his specialization with Ford, he grew up in a General Motors household and is extensively familiar with their products too. Contact Carl on Twitter at @CarlMalek3, on Instagram and Facebook for automotive news to send news tips.