this is the year of the electric pickup truck. by the time the 2022 ford f-150 lightning goes into production later this year, it’ll already have competition from ford's frenemy, rivian (ford invested $500 million in rivian in 2019 and has an undisclosed stake in the company). the gmc hummer is also slated for production this year, with the coming years bringing some certain competitors (the electric chevy silverado) and others that are, shall we say, a little more subject to change—from tesla, lordstown motors, and canoo, among others. bollinger also says it'll start production on the b2 pickup this year, but we're betting that not too many truck buyers will be cross-shopping the f-150 and the $125,000 bollinger. so let's look at the two imminent competitors: the rivian and hummer.
ford—and president biden—made much of the lightning's acceleration, but even in 563-hp guise, its claimed zero-to-60-mph time in the mid-four-second range lags behind the hummer and r1t, both of which claim zero to 60 in 3.0 seconds. the ford offers 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque with its extended-range battery, with the standard battery bringing 426 horsepower and the same torque. gm is claiming 1000 horsepower and about 1000 pound-feet of torque for the hummer—and good thing, since it also weighs more than 9000 pounds. rivian's truck will offer 754 horsepower from quad motors, while the hummer uses three motors and the ford two.
the lightning can tow up to 10,000 pounds and haul 1800 pounds of payload with the long-range battery (7700 pounds and 2000 pounds, respectively, with the standard battery), while the r1t is rated to tow 11000 pounds. gm hasn't put a number on the hummer's tow rating, but it ought to be more than either of these.
all three are all-wheel-drive, with the hummer also adding four-wheel-steering that enables "crab mode." the r1t has a "tank mode" that's enabled by spinning its quad motors in opposite directions across the axles. the lightning? it can probably kick a nice powerslide in the snow. we can hardly believe that we're describing the truck that does zero to 60 in the mid-fours as the slowest of any given trio, but that's where we're at.
range and charging
ford offered lots of range and charging stats for the lightning without actually disclosing battery capacity. but ford targets a 230-mile epa-rated range with the standard battery and 300 miles for the extended-range battery. gm says the hummer's battery will offer "350-plus" miles of range, and rivian's initial trucks will deliver "300-plus" miles, with the extended-range models shooting for more than 400 miles of range.
ford will offer 150-kilowatt dc fast charging that can bring the extended-range battery from 15 percent to 80 percent charge in 41 minutes. more intriguing, a ford home charger dubbed ford charge station pro essentially runs two level 2 chargers through one plug (the truck has dual onboard chargers), thus vastly improving typical level 2 charge speed. ford says that the bigger battery requires 19 hours on a 32-amp level 2 charger to go from 15 percent to 100 percent capacity, while the 80-amp charger drops that time to eight hours. the charge station pro (coupled with some other equipment on the home side) also allows the lightning to be used as a backup generator, with the house drawing power from the truck. ford figures that a lightning could run a typical house, drawing 30.0 kwh per day, for three days. or 10 days, if power were rationed.
gm hasn't announced a similar plan for the hummer but says it will be able to take advantage of 350-kilowatt dc fast charging by switching its battery pack from 400 volts to 800 volts for charging. at its quickest, that should allow it to add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes. it can also use lesser chargers, of course.
rivian is borrowing an idea from tesla and building a fast charger network exclusively for its owners. the rivian adventure network, as they call it, will initially offer 200-plus-kilowatt charge rates, eventually moving beyond 300 kilowatts. the company plans to have more than 600 sites, with 3500 total chargers, by the end of 2023. it says that charging for 20 minutes will add 140 miles of range to an r1t. oh, and the network will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy and offer locations near cities and highways, and in more remote locations where off-road adventures might be in store.
as it turns out, the sameness of electric propulsion—everyone has a quiet motor that makes max torque at zero rpm—is being more than offset by the blank canvas of packaging possibilities afforded by an ev powertrain. the r1t has a full-width pass-through under the bed called the gear tunnel that can be used for storage or to house accessories, like a slide-out camp kitchen. the first rivians will have a panoramic roof, with next year bringing a removable open-air roof option. there's an available power tonneau cover, onboard air compressor and a locking cable that connect to the vehicle security system for stowing gear. a gooseneck hinge on the tailgate expands the bed to 83.6 inches long when the tailgate is down. and there's lockable storage under the bed, too.
the hummer has a front trunk that can be used to store the transparent panels of its "sky roof." the front panel runs the width of the vehicle, but the rear is divided into left and right sides supported by a central support beam—that's right, gm brought back t-tops. the hummer also has a power tonneau cover and power rear drop glass, for the full open-air experience.
the lightning skews more pragmatic, although its power-operated frunklid will surely be a crowd pleaser at tailgate parties (where you now might want to back into your spot). the lightning's frunk is also a drainable cooler and has 2.4 kilowatts' worth of power outlets. party central up there—or, run some tools. total power output for lariat and platinum models is 9.6 kilowatts, with 7.6 kilowatts available from the bed.
the lightning will start at $42,000 for a base truck and climb to $55,000 for an xlt, $59,000 for a lariat, and $70,000 for the platinum. the only hummer you'll be able to buy this year will be the edition 1, for $112,595. later (much later: 2024) there will be models priced as low as $79,995, but we also wouldn't be surprised if that number got adjusted upward over the next two or three years. the r1t launch edition starts at $75,000 and is also the only one that will be available this year. next year will bring the explore, for $67,500. the max pack battery adds $10,000; the camp kitchen is $5000. it seems like it'll be easy to price a rivian into hummer territory, but the lightning hews fairly close to the pricing of its gas counterparts. you can price a 5.0-liter gas f-150 4x4 platinum beyond $70,000 without clicking all the options, so the electric version (and the $7500 federal tax credit it'll enjoy, at least initially) is very aggressively priced. the f-150 is perpetually the bestselling vehicle in the u.s., and it certainly seems like ford intends to claim the title in the ev sphere, too.