All electric car manufacturers are expanding their lineup beyond crossovers, offering a wider range of electric vehicles, including trucks. The Rivian R1T has established itself as one of the top electric trucks, thanks to its modern design, advanced technology, and stylish appearance. However, when it comes to experience in truck manufacturing, no one can rival Ford.
The Ford F-150 has a strong reputation for its exceptional sales in the United States, and Ford has carried that legacy into their electric truck, the Ford F-150 Lightning. This model combines the best features of the F-150 with an electric motor and modern technologies. So, which electric truck is superior—Rivian R1T or Ford F-150 Lightning? Let’s delve into the details.
The Rivian R1T breaks new ground in truck design, boasting a distinctive appearance that sets it apart from its predecessors. With a unique light bar running along the front, interrupted by two oval-shaped headlights, the R1T offers a fresh and eye-catching design. The wide light bar continues at the rear of the truck. As for the bed, it measures 54 inches long with the tailgate up or 83.6 inches with the tailgate down, and it’s 51.1 inches wide.
Image: Ford F-150 Lightning – Christian de Looper / Digital Trends
The Ford F-150 Lightning, while not as unique as the Rivian, retains the classic design of the F-150 while incorporating a light bar that extends slightly along the sides. The front features a faux grille, and the taillights have a more conventional appearance. The bed of the F-150 Lightning is larger than that of the Rivian, measuring 67.1 inches with the tailgate down and 50.6 inches wide. While some may prefer Ford’s more traditional styling, in terms of innovation, the Rivian R1T is the clear winner here.
Winner: Rivian R1T
Interior and Technology
The interior of the Rivian R1T offers a modern driving experience. It features a 15.6-inch infotainment display paired with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The R1T’s software has received positive reviews, particularly when compared to the subpar software often found in traditional automakers’ vehicles. Additionally, the R1T provides comfortable seating for five passengers with heated, ventilated, and power-adjustable seats.
Image: Interior of the 2022 Rivian R1T – Stephen Edelstein / Digital Trends
The Ford F-150 Lightning has a slightly different interior. It also features a 15.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment, although the software may not be as impressive as that of the Rivian. However, the F-150 Lightning has an advantage—it supports CarPlay and Android Auto. The seating configuration is the same as the R1T, accommodating five passengers with comfortable vinyl upholstery and optional power-adjustable seats.
While Ford’s inclusion of CarPlay and Android Auto is appreciated, the thoughtfully designed software of the Rivian R1T offers a more comprehensive in-cabin experience.
Winner: Rivian R1T
The Rivian R1T offers three models to choose from. The base model is all-wheel drive with two motors, reaching 0 to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and offering a range of 340 miles. The “Performance” dual-motor model improves acceleration to 3.5 seconds and provides a range of 350 miles. Lastly, the quad-motor all-wheel drive model accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.0 seconds with a range of 328 miles.
The Rivian R1T can tow up to 11,000 pounds, but keep in mind that towing significantly reduces the range. For example, Car and Driver reported that enabling Tow mode reduces the truck’s range from 270 miles to just 103 miles.
Image: Ford F-150 Lightning Side – Christian de Looper / Digital Trends
The Ford F-150 Lightning offers various models with range options ranging from 230 to 320 miles and a maximum acceleration time of 4.0 seconds to 60 mph. The F-150 Lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds, but like the Rivian, towing will significantly impact the truck’s range.
In terms of range and acceleration, the Rivian R1T outperforms the Ford F-150 Lightning and takes the lead.
Winner: Rivian R1T
Pricing and Availability
The Rivian R1T is available for purchase, but delivery may take up to 16 weeks. Prices start at $79,000 for the base model and go up to $87,000 for the Quad Motor AWD model, excluding additional options.
The Ford F-150 Lightning is also currently available, but similar to the Rivian, deliveries are expected to have a waiting period. Depending on the model, you can expect delivery within 1.5 to 2.5 months from the time of ordering. The starting price for the F-150 Lightning is $51,990, and the price can exceed $100,000 depending on the chosen model.
Based on the starting price alone, Ford wins this category without contest.
Winner: Ford F-150 Lightning
Choosing the right electric truck can be challenging. Although the Ford F-150 Lightning has a lower starting price, it also offers lesser range and overall performance compared to the Rivian R1T. If budget allows, the more modern and innovative Rivian R1T is the better choice. However, for those in need of a larger truck bed or looking to save some money, the Ford F-150 Lightning is still an excellent option.
- Rivian R1T offers an estimated 410 miles of range with Dual-Motor powertrain, Max Pack battery
- Ford’s limited edition matte black F-150 Lightnings: Here’s your first look
- Rivian adds Snow Mode through a software update just in time for winter
- 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs. 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV
- Ford temporarily suspends reservations for its all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup