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Did you ever envision a future where you could get behind the wheel of an all-electric truck that would deliver nearly the same capability as a gas-powered or diesel-powered workhorse? While EVs initially had a reputation for being unattainable because of their sky-high price tags, automakers like Ford and Tesla are slowly turning the tides and proving that EVs are affordable, sustainable alternatives that can deliver exceptional capability and performance. This is wildly apparent when you compare the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs 2022 Tesla Cybertruck.
While the F-150 Lightning and the Cybertruck are both electric trucks, the models are incredibly different. The F-150 Lightning remains true to the Ford brand and continues the Blue Oval's "Built Ford Tough" legacy. It looks and feels like an F-150 and offers many of the same luxuries, technology, and safety features. It's Ford's beloved workhorse with a modern twist.
The Cybertruck, on the other hand, is an entirely different beast. Less of a truck and more of a mobile origami platform, the Cybertruck looks like it belongs on a 2022 remake of The Jetsons. It's hard to imagine yourself hauling a load of mulch in the bed or towing the family's camper to the lake for the weekend because of its futuristic design. Will this be the Cybertruck's downfall against an icon like the F-150?
The Ford F-150 is an icon on American roads, and models like the 2022 F-150 Lightning prove that the truck continues to evolve and improve with age. Ford went to great lengths to design the Lightning like the best-selling F-150, which means it's easy to see yourself behind the wheel of this ruggedly capable truck. It retains Ford's iconic Blue Oval badging and F-Series platform whether you're shopping for the Lightning Pro base trim or upgrading to the XLT, Lariat, or top-tier Platinum.
The Lightning Pro sets the stage for the all-electric truck and comes equipped with the 2.4 kW Pro Power OnBoard and Ford's Co-Pilot360 2.0 suite of safety and driver-assist tools. The truck's Mega Power Frunk is the largest in its class at 14.1 cubic feet and can carry up to 400 pounds. You'll also have access to a standard 12-inch touchscreen display that's home to the industry-leading SYNC 4 infotainment system. Upgrading to the XLT trim adds signature front lighting, running boards, zone lighting, an interior work surface, and a 360-degree camera.
The Lariat is instantly recognizable with its Premium Geometric Gray-Ion satin grille and 20-inch Dark Carbonized Gray Wheels, while its interior features leather-trimmed seats that are heated and ventilated. You'll also find a larger, 15.5-inch touchscreen display as well as a power tailgate that makes loading and unloading items into the bed more efficient. The top-tier Platinum builds on these features with a Vador Black tinted chrome grille and 22-inch wheels. The seats see a significant upgrade with their multi-contour design with Active Motion technology that pairs exceptionally well with the Nirvana leather. The Platinum also delivers an immersive listening experience with the premium Bang & Olufsen sound system.
Tesla's Cybertruck doesn't look like a traditional truck with its stainless steel, sharp-edged exterior. Unlike the F-150 Lightning, you won't find many trim options on the Tesla. Instead, you can choose between one of three powertrain options, all of which will have the same minimalistic interior. Unlike Ford's electric truck, which offers a comforting and familiar cab design, Tesla employs a strangely futuristic interior with almost no features beyond the central touchscreen. There isn't even a driver's instrument cluster, so you will have to glance sideways anytime you want to check your speed.
The F-150 Lightning gives you a choice between two impressive power options - a standard range battery and an extended range battery. The standard-range battery is included standard in the Lightning Pro and, depending on trim, can be upgraded to the extended-range option. However, the standard battery delivers more than enough power and capability by producing 426 horsepower, 775 lb-ft of instant torque, and an estimated range of 230 miles on a full charge.
The extended-range battery is standard on the Lariat and Platinum and pushes the truck to 300 miles on a full charge. It delivers the same 775 lb-ft of torque, but it boosts the Lightning's power and gives the truck its name by delivering a jaw-dropping 563 horsepower. The extended battery also affects the Lightning's payload and towing capability. The standard battery offers a 2,000-pound payload and 7,700-pounds of towing, while the extended-range battery reduces the payload to 1,800 pounds but increases the towing maximum to 10,000 pounds.
Aside from hauling heavy loads, you can also use the Lightning's power to your advantage at home and work. This is thanks to Ford's Intelligent Backup Power feature and Pro Power Onboard. The Intelligent Backup Power tool turns the truck into a mobile power supply for your home and delivers 9.6 kilowatts of power that can keep your appliances and electronics running during a power outage. The Pro Power Onboard tool allows you to use the truck's multiple built-in electrical outlets to power small tools, electronics, and appliances wherever you are.
Designed strictly for performance, you don't have the option to turn the Cybertruck into a mobile generator. However, you do have three different battery options that allow you to customize the futuristic truck to your needs. Unlike the 4x4 Lighting, the Cybertruck comes standard with rear-wheel drive and delivers a 250-mile range with a 7,500-pound towing capacity. Upgrading to Tesla's dual-motor all-wheel drive configuration extends the range to 300 miles and the towing capacity to 10,000 pounds. Finally, there is a second all-wheel drive configuration that aims to deliver greater performance.
Ford unleashes every ounce of innovation when it comes to the tech and convenience features you'll find on the 2022 F-150 Lightning. The Lightning is an F-150 at its core, which means it's equipped with Ford's exceptional new SYNC 4 infotainment system that utilizes natural voice control and cloud-based navigation to perform seamlessly. Through the system, you can access your favorite apps via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration or use simple voice commands to have Alexa add items to your shopping list, control your smart home devices, or stream your favorite music.
From the driver's seat, you'll have access to a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster that you can customize to fit your driving style. The display gives you a clear view of your speed, range, and driver-assist alerts with animated graphics that are easy to see at a glance. You can also see how the truck is conserving its energy through tools like regenerative braking, which is a great way to monitor the Lightning's performance and projected range.
Ford knows that an F-150 like the Lightning should be a capable workhorse, and that's the inspiration behind intuitive tools like Onboard Scales. Towing heavy loads can impact your driving range, which is why Onboard Scales uses several sensors around the truck to estimate the payload. Once the estimation is calculated, the tool adjusts the truck's Intelligent Range so that you always have an accurate estimate of the truck's battery range and capability.
It's easy to worry about keeping the software updated with innovative technology like the SYNC 4 infotainment system, Onboard Scales, and Intelligent Range. Fortunately, Ford eliminates this worry by enabling over-the-air updates so that you always have the latest software and real-time data. This means that the truck will update itself whenever it's connected to Wi-Fi.
While you can expect Tesla to offer an intuitive infotainment system and smartphone integration, the automotive startup doesn't like sticking with mainstream standards. Instead of using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Tesla prefers to develop its own infotainment technology that doesn't always have the same features. And while its single central screen is quite large, it has to perform all the functions that are split across two screens in the F-150 Lightning. The heavy reliance on touchscreen technology also means that Tesla entirely lacks the easy-to-use hard buttons found in the Ford.