|Est. 300||Range (mi)||314|
|Ladder Construction||Frame Type||Skateboard Unibody|
|67.1||Bed Length (in)||54|
The automotive industry is undergoing a major shift right now. More and more vehicle manufactures are focusing their efforts on the development of electric vehicles, creating a more diverse selection with charging capabilities that are actually realistic. EVs were fairly limited to smallish commuter cars for years, but even that is changing rapidly. 2022 is shaping up to be a historic year for the automotive industry, with the introduction of several all-electric pickup trucks that are slated to be faster and more powerful than gas-powered pickups. Two vehicles are doing a lot of heavy lifting for the electric car market right now, and there is a battle brewing between the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs 2022 Rivian R1T.
America’s best-selling pickup truck gets electrified with the all-new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. It’s promised to be a work-ready, off-roading powerhouse that will require less scheduled maintenance than its gasoline-powered counterparts. This new truck has been generating a whole lot of buzz since Ford unveiled it in May 2021. On the other hand, Rivian was founded in 2009 and has been quietly developing the technology behind the R1T for years, finally giving the public a preview of their products to come at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. The automotive world is amped about the tech behind the Rivian’s high-performing vehicles, like the “skateboard” chassis and quad-motor drive. The 2022 Rivian R1T should be an exciting addition to the luxury segment of the EV market, but can it compare to the F-150 Lightning?
The introduction of all-electric pickups is huge for the progress of EVs, considering the size and capability of early-day EVs were fairly small. Ford and Rivian are proving that power isn’t synonymous with large turbocharged gas and diesel engines and opening up the EV market to a whole new group of people with different needs. A decade ago, the thought of comparing two different, high-performing fully-electric pickup trucks may have seemed like a Jetson-esque futuristic daydream, but today we’re doing exactly that. In an electrifying stand-off of the 2022 Ford F150 Lightning vs the 2022 Rivian R1T, which electric pickup will strike hotter?
Since 1903, Ford Motor Company has been putting their money where their mouth is. They’re one of the most recognizable American brands and have earned a reputation for reliability and quality, especially in the pickup truck segment. There’s a reason Ford has garnered thousands upon thousands of loyal customers, and the introduction of the F-150 Lightning proves the vehicle manufacturer is just as adaptable now as it was a century ago. One of the things Ford does best is pickup trucks; they even have the claim to production of the first-ever pickup truck, the Ford TT, in 1917. If there’s one company with the track record to marry new technology with proven reliability, it’s Ford.
Rivian is an up-and-comer that has mirrored the confounding rise seemingly unique to California-based startups with billionaire CEOs. Despite not selling a single product, they’ve amassed billions of dollars in investments. After the debut of the R1T at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2019, Rivian announced that the public would be able to get their hands on new Rivian vehicles in June 2021 - but that date has seen several pushbacks. While Rivian can’t be faulted for the parts shortages and volatile conditions induced by the pandemic, the fact remains that they have not gotten off to a smooth start with the launch of their very first vehicle. While they have yet to prove their value matches up to the piles of money getting thrown at them, Ford has proven time and time again that customers can expect quality with the purchase of a new Ford vehicle.
The difference in price for the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning and the 2022 Rivian R1T is no small amount. While the F-150 Lightning has an affordable starting price of $39,974, the R1T is a much more costly $67,500.* In addition to being less expensive, the Ford F-150 Lightning has a larger price range to meet the needs and bank accounts of a wider range of buyers; higher trims and optional add-ons can hike the price up to around $90,000, so a whole slew of customers can go electric.
Further encouraging the public to make the switch to EVs, the federal government has a tax incentive specifically for the purchase of EVs. Since 2010, a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 has been used to incentivize consumers to purchase new plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles. Once a manufacturer has sold 200,000 models, its vehicles will no longer be eligible for the tax credit. Since the 2022 F-150 Lightning and the 2022 Rivian R1T are brand-new models, they’ll both be eligible for the $7,500 credit, driving the price of the F-150 Lightning as low as $32,474, while the Rivian R1T has the potential to get down to $60,000.
Adding to the value to the 2022 Ford F150 Lightning is the fact that it’s the creation of a company with decades of experience; reliability translates directly to value. Rivian’s lack of consumer-tested products makes the purchase of their vehicle somewhat of a gamble any way you spin it. Ford’s decision to make an affordable all-electric pickup, paired with their plan to invest $22 billion through 2025 in electric vehicles, is a testament to their commitment to creating high-quality EVs for all of their consumers.
Electric vehicles have been around for a while, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that they actually became viable and desirable options for buyers. Even so, the glaring lack of trucks in the EV world showed a huge gap in the industry. With the impending production of the 2022 Ford F150 Lightning and the 2022 Rivian R1T, the EV market is about to get a lot more diverse, which represents a big step forward for the EV industry as a whole. However, the impact these two vehicles are likely to have is quite different.
Rivian promises what will likely be a great product that will meet the demands of the portion of the population that has $60,000 or more to spend on a vehicle. This is all fine and dandy, and there’s nothing wrong with producing a luxury vehicle. After all, millionaires need to go green too, right? The issue is with Rivian’s eye-roll inducing marketing scheme that romanticizes the role their vehicle can play in the life of a nature-loving, free-spirited adventurer, while their price tags speak more to the wealthiest amongst us, not a homegrown hero who’s just trying to make the world a better place. Their claimed devotion to the mission of preserving our shared environment feels a little disingenuous when you consider the starting price of their two vehicles, the R1T and the R1S, are $67,500 and $70,000, respectively.
They may not be doing the environment a lot of harm, but the price of their product means Rivian vehicles won’t be displacing many gasoline-powered vehicles on the road anytime soon. Ford, on the other hand, has been crafting vehicles for a wide range of budgets, and they continue to do so with an all-electric truck that comes at a price that’s accessible to more than a select few. For that reason, expect to see a lot more Ford F-150 Lightnings out in the wild than Rivian R1Ts, getting more people where they need to go with zero emissions. Ford is writing the book on revolutionizing the pickup truck market, and at this rate, Rivian will need to do a lot more to keep up. Perhaps they’ll follow Tesla’s example of eventually opening up their customer base to something less exclusive, but until then, it’s hard to believe that the “green” they care about is anything more than dollar signs and zeros.