A grey 2022 Ford Lightning is shown from driving on the highway during a 2022 Ford Lightning vs 2022 Tesla Cybertruck comparison.

The Ford F-150 Lightning and Tesla Cybertruck: The Reinvention of the Pickup

Everybody knows that pickup trucks are the hottest vehicles on the market, and they are much talked about online. Still, with the upcoming comparison of the 2022 Ford Lightning vs 2022 Tesla Cybertruck, the internet is in danger of imploding. Granted, there is a lot to talk about concerning these two electric choices, and they do deserve all of the attention they are getting. There are just a few aspects of these two trucks that are alike – they are electric, and they are trucks.

Beyond a few similarities, you would have a difficult time finding two other vehicles in the same class that are so different. There was a time not long ago when it seemed Tesla was getting all of the attention, and it was well deserved. But Ford wasn’t going to just sit back and let Musk and his company get all the press. Now, the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck has genuine competition. Let’s crunch some numbers and check out some features and see which truck would fare better in the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs 2022 Tesla Cybertruck.

Thankfully, Looks Aren’t Everything

There might be drivers out there who think the Cybertruck looks good. But no matter how much we stare at it and watch videos of it in action, it still resembles one of those geometry problems you were asked to solve in school. That’s not to say that the Cybertruck is necessarily ugly; it just takes some getting used to. From the standpoint of standing out in a crowd, well, it’s certainly a head-turner that will probably snap a few necks. In many ways, you can’t stop looking at it. It’s like trying not to stare at the glaring mole on the face of the checkout clerk. But some people are fine with this.

As far as the F-150 Lightning, there are no surprises here. It looks the way you would expect an F-150 to look, which has its own negative aspects. There isn’t anything that sets the Lightning apart from other trucks, not just other F-150s, but other trucks in general. There will be those truck enthusiasts who are able to point one out from a crowd, but others will just see a truck. While without a doubt, even people who are totally unfamiliar with the Tesla truck will immediately know it is something very different.

Musk is taking a risk with the futuristic look of the Cybertruck, and perhaps it was designed this way to boost his ego, but only time will tell if people love the look or loathe it. The real test will come when the Cybertruck hits the market and if drivers are impressed by its performance. Since the F-150 already has a dedicated following, there isn’t as much pressure on the part of Ford to draw attention for sales.

A silver 2022 Tesla Cybertruck is shown from the side.

Performance and Capabilities

Looks and style might be necessary to some people, but the majority of pickup truck drivers will care more about performance and capabilities than anything. Performance is a broad term and often includes speed, acceleration, fuel economy, handling, ride, and more. Brands will frequently label their trucks as heavy-duty or high-performance to set them apart from the crowd. But neither Tesla nor Ford have to do this with the Cybertruck and Lightning. They don’t have to; they are top-performing models without the added verbiage.

The base model Cybertruck has a single motor with a range of about 250 miles. There is also a dual-motor model that provides all-wheel drive and is more powerful and quicker. For those who crave horsepower, the top line Cybertruck has an impressive three motors and a ton of raw power, as you can imagine.

The Lightning boasts four trim levels, but all of them have a dual-motor setup and all-wheel drive. The base trim level provides plenty of power, and you see this increase as you upgrade the trims. The base Lightning will get you about 230 miles of range, but the extended range battery bumps that up to 300 miles.

It is in towing and payload capacities where the Cybertruck really flexes some serious muscle. At the base level, the Cybertruck enjoys a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds. Move up a level, and the dual-motor model can tow up to 10,000 pounds. Opt for the tri-motor option, and you are all set in the towing department as this model will tow up to 14,000 pounds.

However, the Lightning compares favorably with the Cybertruck as the base motor will tow up to 7,700 pounds, which is just a little more than the Tesla. The extended range Ford model equals the dual-motor Cybertruck with an estimated towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. But the Lightning maxes out at this number, leaving the Cybertruck with a towing advantage if you are willing to pay the $69,900 required for Tesla’s top model.

As far as payload, the Cybertruck is again the clear winner. The Cybertruck offers up 3,500 pounds of payload while the standard range Lightning offers an estimated 2,000 pounds payload, and the extended range model is estimated at 1,800 pounds. However, we don’t actually know what options you have to select to unlock the full payload capacity of the Cybertruck.

Interior Design

The interior is something else you need to consider when choosing between the two trucks. Sitting inside the Cybertruck, you will note right away that it is just as odd on the inside. First off, you have to deal with the sharply-angled roof. And there is more, including the dash and seats that take a cue from some science-fiction movie. The one thing that stands out is the missing instrument cluster and the enormous infotainment system, it kind of stands out like a sore thumb. On a side note, the yoke-shaped steering wheel is pretty cool. But you will be left with little doubt that you are behind the wheel of a Tesla.

For those interested in a more traditional interior, you will welcome what is found inside the Ford Lightning. Inside the Lightning, you will find a large infotainment system, lots of buttons and knobs, and a center console that looks like, well, a center console. The point is that nothing feels out of place or weird. Not that it makes any difference as far as interior features are concerned, but the interior of the Lightning feels cozy and correct.

A grey 2022 Ford Lightning is shown charging in a garage after winning a 2022 Ford Lightning vs 2022 Tesla Cybertruck comparison.

Which is the Better Truck?

That’s not an easy question to answer, and it is undoubtedly somewhat subjective. Let’s start with how the truck will be utilized. If you will be using the truck for work applications that demand impressive towing and payload numbers, then a top-trim Cybertruck looks like a solid choice. But let’s not forget that the Lightning offers some impressive numbers as well and comes out ahead in the lower trims. If you are looking for a reliable and affordable work truck, it is difficult to go wrong with a Ford.

Another consideration is style. If you can get past the futuristic-looking Cybertruck, then you will base your decision on other factors such as performance and interior. But there will be those who just can’t overlook the oddly-shaped Cybertruck and will prefer to be seen in a more traditional truck like the Lightning. It isn’t easy at this point to consider the Cybertruck stylish. It’s going to take time to be sure. But hey, if you want to drive around in a truck that is one-of-a-kind, then go and check out the Cybertruck.

In the end, it might make sense to set aside aesthetics and make a decision based on tangible data such as performance, range, and features when determining which truck is right for you. Both the Ford Lightning and Tesla Cybertruck are impressive trucks with a lot to offer.