We’re putting both electric trucks in a head-to-head preview to assist you on deciding. Which one should be on your wishlist? Here’s what we found, based on our Tesla Cybertruck vs Ford F-150 Lightning comparison.
The Specs: Tesla Cybertruck vs. Ford F-150 Lightning
|Ford F-150 Lightning|
|Release Date||2022||Early 2022|
|Price||From $39,900||From $39,974|
|Power||3 motor, AWD||2 motor, AWD|
|Range||Up to 500 miles||Up to 300 miles|
|Charging||250 kW DC||150 kW DC|
|0-60 mph||2.9 seconds||Mid-4 second range|
Let’s start this review where every new buyer has the most concerns. The price! Ford definitely has Tesla beaten by far when it comes to price. The entry level F-150 Lightning, which comes with two motors and all-wheel drive, starts at $39,974. That’s $74 more expensive than the $39,900 you’d pay for a single-motor Cybertruck, but by saving that meager amount you’d be losing out on quite a lot. The F-150 Lighting is a lot more similar to the dual-motor Cybertruck, which is currently listed at $49,900 – $10,000 more. A hefty difference that could change the balance of this comparison.
The extended-range F-150 Lighting doesn’t have a price but is currently estimated to be around the mid-$50,000s. The top-tier Cybertruck is $69,900, though that does come with extra hardware and features, including significantly more range (500+ vs Ford’s 300) and a third motor for better performance.
Americans love the Ford F-150, and the main selling point for the F-150 Lightning is that the truck is almost identical to its gasoline-powered and hybrid counterparts. There are some differences on the front end, particularly since there’s no need to have a grille on an electric car, but it’s clear at a glance that all the F-150s are all closely related.
Considering that the Ford F-series trucks have been America’s best-selling passenger vehicles for decades, it’s crucial that Ford keeps that momentum going.
The Tesla Cybertruck is the first of its kind, and there are no other vehicles to base it on. It’s been made to look like something out of an early ‘90s sci-fi game. You can’t deny that it’s eye-catching, and the weird angular design has people talking. But is it what the American market is looking for?
The Cybertruck comes with all the truck features you’d expect, including a 6.5-foot truck bed. The bed comes with an extendable telescoping ramp instead of a standard tailgate, which, while different, does have its uses. The Cybertruck is also built to be incredibly durable, with Elon Musk proudly bragging that the door would hold up to shots from a 9mm handgun.
Ford has filled the F-150 Lightning with a lot of features you’d expect from a modern EV, including a 15.5-inch infotainment screen. But unlike the Tesla Cybertruck, which goes for an almost-exclusively touchscreen-based experience, Ford is keeping the physical buttons and dials around. In fact, there’s even a physical dial built into the screen, just as in the Ford Mustang Mach-E. It’s unclear at this point which would be more desirable for a North American market.
Being a big truck, the F-150 Lightning also has plenty of storage space. There’s a 14.1 cubic-foot ‘Mega Power Frunk’ (front trunk), plus the same 5.5-foot bed as the gasoline F-150. The inside also features a fold-out workstation in the center console and front seats that can fold completely flat.
The Tesla Cybertruck is very much a standard Tesla affair, though not without some key differences. While a Model S and Model 3 may look almost indistinguishable on the inside, there’s no denying that the Cybertruck’s unique aesthetic has influenced the interior.
Obviously there’s no escaping the angular roof, and that straight-edged Cyberpunk-esque design has been added to things like the seats and the dash. But you still get the classic Tesla features, including the yoke-shaped steering wheel, the 17-inch touchscreen display, and the glass roof.
There’s a lot we still don’t know about the specifics, although Tesla tends to offer the same interior experience across all its cars. While it’s confirmed that the Cybertruck’s display will have a customized user interface, we assume that it will still be familiar to owners of other Tesla vehicles.
Battery and range
As the leading E.V car manufacturer, Tesla has Ford well and truly beaten on range. The entry-level F-150 Lightning is set to offer 230 miles of range, while the extended-range model will offer up to 300 miles. This is respectable even if those figures are a bit middle-of-the-road.
The Tesla Cybertruck’s entry-level model offers 250 miles of range for the same price, even if it isn’t quite as powerful a vehicle. The dual-motor model offers up to 300 miles, while the tri-motor model offers over 500 miles of range. There’s absolutely no question that the Cybertruck wins on range every single time.
Tesla also wins on charging, since the Cybertruck can handle the 250-kW charging speeds from the company’s supercharging network. That lets the Cybertruck recharge from 10% to 80% battery capacity in just 44 minutes.
The F-150 Lightning has charging speeds of only up to 150 kW , and its battery goes from 15% to 80% in the same roughly 45 minutes. This isn’t terrible, though the shorter range means you’ll inevitably end up spending more time recharging the car – especially if you’re doing a lot of long-distance driving.
In our view, It’s clear that the tri-motor Cybertruck is the winner between these two electric trucks, though that can easily be explained away by the fact there is no tri-motor Ford F-150 Lightning to compare it to. When you downgrade the power then you end up with two trucks that are pretty evenly matched from a performance perspective.
Of course no matter how you look at it, Tesla wins on range. Tesla has spent several years investing in better batteries alongside lighter and more aerodynamic designs, which gives it a huge boost when it comes to single-charge driving. No other car company can come close to what Tesla has to offer.
It’s still early days for Ford, though, and the F-150 Lighting is a good first effort, especially since the extended-range model can match the dual-motor Cybertruck’s 300-mile range estimate.