At this point, it’s pretty clear that the race is on by auto manufacturers to have the leading all-electric pickup on the market. Electric Vehicles (EVs) are set to take over the industry, with every major manufacturer focusing on converting more and more of their lineup to electric models. One of the most recent big announcements was the official reveal of the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV, with plenty of specs and details to go with it. Since we’re not getting it until next year, some of the finer points are still being ironed out and haven’t been released yet, but there’s plenty to go off of.
The only major player that hasn’t given us much to work with is Ram– they’re in the top three manufacturers of trucks in the US, and they’re definitely working on some sort of EV Ram pickup. Unfortunately, they’re still keeping everything hush-hush at the moment, so I’m not going to be able to talk about them here. Instead, I’m going to focus on the EV trucks that we do have information for to see how the newly-revealed Silverado EV compares and fits into what the future lineup of pickups is going to look like. One very important caveat: I’ll be using the best information I have from the manufacturers throughout this piece, but things can always change since these are all still in development.
The EV Truck Lineup
Before I start getting into some specifics here, let’s quickly go over which models I’m going to look at today. For starters, there’s the recently revealed 2024 Silverado EV, which is going to be Chevy’s first major entry into the current EV pickup battle. Next, we have the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, which is an interesting one since both it and the Silverado EV are made by GM, and both utilize the new Ultium battery platform. The engineers at Chevy have no doubt learned from the development of the Hummer EV, and it’s likely informed their work on the all-electric Silverado.
We’ll also check out the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, which will probably be the Silverado EV’s biggest competitor, given the fact that the standard F-150 has been the bestselling truck in America since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Of course, we can’t look at EV models without thinking of Tesla, and you could argue that its reveal of the upcoming Cybertruck helped launch the current battle for EV truck domination. Finally, a newer startup that a lot of people are keeping an eye on is Rivian, and its R1T is seen by many in the industry as the make-or-break model for the infant auto manufacturer.
The Numbers: Towing and Payload
Although we’re going to look at quite a few different specs today on these trucks, I’d argue that the single most important spec is the kind of capability they offer. In particular, I’m talking about towing and payload numbers. Power, performance, battery range, and other details are all great and will certainly make a difference as these trucks battle it out for supremacy. But the biggest spec that has a lot of people anxious to see what these pickups can actually deliver is the amount of weight they can handle.
So far, the maximum towing capacities each manufacturer has listed are:
- Cybertruck: 14,000 lbs
- Rivian R1T: 11,000 lbs
- Silverado EV: 10,000 lbs
- F-150 Lightning: 10,000 lbs
- Hummer EV: 7,500 lbs
And now for the maximum payload each truck can manage:
- Cybertruck: 3,500 lbs
- F-150 Lightning: 2,000 lbs
- Rivian R1T: 1,760 lbs
- Silverado EV: 1,300 lbs
- Hummer EV: 1,300 lbs
The two big things to unpack here are that the Hummer EV comes up a bit short on towing, and Tesla seems to know something everyone else doesn’t. GMC is really pushing the high-end tech features and luxury of the Hummer EV, so it makes sense it’s less focused on the top spot for towing. The Cybertruck seems worlds ahead of the rest, though some sources have argued that its size and weight put it in the three-quarter-ton heavy-duty segment, whereas the Chevy and Ford EVs are light-duty trucks.
The Numbers: Power
Manufacturers love to brag about horsepower and torque with conventional trucks, so it’s no surprise that there’s already an arms race for the EV models. This is not completely cut-and-dry, however; in much the same way that standard trucks offer different engines, EV pickups can have different motor setups with different amounts of power. Just the Cybertruck, for example, has three different options available, which makes going through all of them a bit much. To keep things simple, let’s look at the highest numbers possible on each model, then we’ll talk a bit more about what’s available:
- Hummer EV: 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb-ft of torque
- Rivian R1T: 800 hp and 908 lb-ft of torque
- Silverado EV: 664 hp and 780 lb-ft of torque
- F-150 Lightning: 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque
- Cybertruck: Unknown
Let’s just get this out of the way: the torque numbers from GMC are nonsense. That 11,500 lb-ft of torque is measured at the wheel, not at the motor like every other model is; this is even more ridiculous since most estimates put the actual torque for the Hummer EV at around 900 lb-ft, which is already fantastic without any manipulation. The biggest question mark here is the Cybertruck, as Tesla hasn’t provided these numbers yet, and it will be very interesting once they do. It’s also worth noting that the Cybertruck should be available with between one and four motors, while all the rest have two motors standard, and only the Hummer EV offers the option for three motors.
The Numbers: Range
For a lot of drivers, one of the biggest hurdles for embracing an all-electric future is the potential hassle of charging the vehicle. Battery technology has certainly improved, especially with the advent of DC Fast Charging, which allows for a much faster option to charge an EV truck on the road. That being said, the best way to overcome any issues is to get to your destination without recharging, so long range on a full charge is vital. Keep in mind that these are only official numbers, and real-world conditions can impact them, especially if you are towing.
The maximum range on each truck, with a fully-charged battery, is:
- Cybertruck: 500 miles est
- Silverado EV: 400 miles est
- Hummer EV: 350 miles est
- Rivian R1T: 314 miles EPA-rated
- F-150 Lightning: 300 miles est
Looking at these numbers, 300-400 miles seems to be the target for most manufacturers, which is in keeping with the Cybertruck’s dual-motor setup, which has over 300 miles of range. The tri-motor Cybertruck option with 500 miles of range is definitely the standout here. Considering how much experience Tesla has with designing EVs, however, this really isn’t much of a surprise.
The Numbers: Interior Features
Since every last spec isn’t yet available on all of these models, we can’t dig too deep into what their interiors will look like in terms of space and room for you and your friends. Fortunately, all of these companies love to brag about the infotainment screens going into their trucks, so we have a great detail we can look at and compare. Let’s look at the largest infotainment screen that each of these trucks will offer:
- Silverado EV: 17-inch Display
- Cybertruck: 17-inch Display
- Rivian R1T: 15.6-inch Display
- F-150 Lightning: 15.5-inch Display
- Hummer EV: 13.4-inch Display
This was one of the areas in which I was most surprised by the recent Chevy Silverado EV announcement: its 17-inch screen matches what the Cybertruck will have and surpasses everything else out there. Weirdly, the Hummer EV ends up being at the back, which surprises me since they’re pushing advanced tech and other features so much. I won’t be shocked if a larger screen later becomes available in the next model year or two.
How it All Adds Up
Just going by these numbers, the details of the Chevy Silverado EV aren’t mind-blowing, but they’re certainly setting themselves up to be a serious contender in the EV truck battle. They’ve got Ford topped in terms of range, which is huge, and come up the same for towing–though that could change as final numbers are locked in closer to release. I’m not sure if companies like GM see startups like Rivian, or even Tesla, as a major competitor right now, but I expect we’ll see trims and optional models that give the high-end specs on the Cybertruck a real run for its money–things like an F-150 Lightning Raptor or Silverado EV ZR2. I’m curious to see what Ram is working on and if it will really shake things up at all or simply hope to retain loyal customers through brand recognition–only time will tell.