A silver 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown driving in a tunnel after visiting a NV Ford EV dealer.

What Makes the Ford F-150 Lightning Superior to Other Electric Trucks?

Electric trucks are kind of having a moment, in case you haven’t noticed. It feels like every vehicle manufacturer woke up on the same day and said, “We HAVE to have an electrified pickup!” The 2022 model year saw the Rivian R1T, GMC Hummer EV, and Ford F-150 Lightning hit the market, swiftly followed by the Tesla Cybertruck and Chevy Silverado EV. Of course, inception dates, production dates, and release dates are a blur, so it’s really hard to know who copied who.

What we do know is that now, if you want the power of a pickup without the fumes of a traditional gas engine, you can have it. However, it seems like just about everyone suggests heading to a Ford EV dealer for the F-150 Lightning. Money.com loves it. Edmunds loves it. MotorTrend loves it. We even named it our Most Influential Truck of 2022 here at AutoInfluence. So, what is Ford doing so right with its F-150 Lightning that its competitors just can’t seem to figure out? Some of it is pretty glaring. Let’s take a look.

First, Let’s Talk Price

Overcharging for an electric vehicle is supposed to be a thing of the past by now, but it seems major pickup manufacturers haven’t gotten the memo (well, besides Ford). It’s like with any other trendy consumer product like, say, gluten-free bread products: at first, only a rare one or two companies made them, and so they had a monopoly on the market, charging an arm and a leg for what they sold. Then others got a hold of the formula and revealed that, well, GF-pasta actually doesn’t have to be $20 a box.

EV manufacturers were doing the same thing for a while, treating their non-gas-engine vehicles like pots of gold. We all just went along with it because, well, we didn’t know any better. But then, more companies started offering EVs at a fraction of the cost of the original purveyors, and we all realized we’d been duped. But, for some reason, Chevy, Rivian, and GMC are all still acting like their EV pickups are some rarity that nobody can replicate, and they’re simply charging too much for them.

Get this: the 2024 Hummer EV pickup starts at just a few grand short of…$100,000. Yes, you read that correctly. Does GMC not understand the profile of a pickup driver at all? Truckers are hardy, tough, down-to-earth, practical people. Does that sound like somebody who is going to think it’s acceptable to pay $100,000 for a pickup? Rivian also isn’t doing anyone any favors with its pickup, the R1T, starting at $70,000 (give or take a few bucks). We honestly expected better from Chevy, but it looks like it’s seeing what it can get away with, too, charging nearly $80,000 for the starting trim of the 2024 Silverado EV. Really, shame on these manufacturers. Are we trying to encourage people to pollute less or not? (It feels like…not).

Meanwhile, Ford offers the 2024 F-150 Lighting at a reasonable starting MSRP of just under $55,000. For reference, a traditional gasoline 2024 F-150 SuperCrew with the 3.5L EcoBoost and 4×4 starts at nearly $50,000. So $55,000 is actually a bargain for what you’re getting with the Lightning. Basically, Ford looked around and decided, “We’re actually not going to go for a money grab and see just how much people are willing to overpay to drive an EV. We’re going to charge a fair price.”

A blue 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown from a front angle while parked off-road.

Beds and Trims

The ignorance and the disconnect from their target audience abounds again for Ford’s competitors in the bed department. Let’s not forget: a pickup truck is, first and foremost, for hauling stuff around. So why on earth does the Rivian have a measly little 4.5-foot bed? And the Hummer EV pickup’s bed only goes up to five feet?!

Chevy did at least stick to its workhorse roots by giving drivers of the Silverado EV a decent-sized bed. But those other manufacturers…come ON! A pickup’s bed isn’t just there for show. It needs to be useful, and a tiny bed isn’t useful. The Ford F-150 Lighting has a solid five-and-a-half-foot bed and is ready for work.

Something about making an EV pickup must have made these manufacturers say, “We’re just not going to give people many options.” We say this because the limitations continue, beyond the small beds to barely any trims. The Rivian takes the cake with only a single trim. The Silverado EV’s trims are still being hammered out, but for now, we’ve only caught wind of two (maybe three). GMC also offers just two trims for the Hummer EV, with a third in the works. That doesn’t give people much to work with.

Moving over to Ford, the 2024 F-150 Lighting is available in six trims, including the work-truck Pro and the luxury Platinum. True to its traditional gas-engine base, the F-150 Lightning has trims to appeal to different drivers with various styles, habits, and budgets. The other companies should really take a page out of Ford’s book.

The Onboard Generator

Since all of these EV trucks run on giant batteries, they naturally have the ability to power tools, appliances, and so on. Each one has an onboard generator, giving you the option to plug in a number of items when you’re away from wall outlets. However, not all of them have a potent generator. While the F-150 Lightning provides 9.6 kW of power, the Hummer EV pickup only offers 6.0 kW, and the R1T has a pathetic 1.5 kW. We can admit that Chevy and Tesla compete with Ford in this category and even offer slightly more power. However, as we said before, you’ll pay a lot more to get that generator in the Silverado EV or Cybertruck.

A white 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning is shown driving in a city.


Quite frankly, every manufacturer other than Ford outsmarted itself. People don’t really need their EV pickup to look like it came from an extraterrestrial planet or luxury showroom. Truck drivers just want their trucks to look like trucks and run on battery power instead of gas. Rivian, Chevy, Tesla, and GMC didn’t get the memo. We’ll give Rivian and Tesla a bit of a break because they are exclusively EV manufacturers. They aren’t replicating some gas-engine truck with the R1T and Cybertruck.

But GMC got away from the Hummer’s army-inspired roots with its electric truck. In an attempt to round out the traditional, boxy frame of a Hummer, it made something that looks like a toy with the EV pickup. Chevy somehow made the same mistakes as GMC. The original Silverado is a pickup truck classic—such a shame to have messed with perfection. Only the electrified F-150 still looks pretty much like the traditional gas-engine model, which is what the people want.

Ford Stuck to Its Roots, and It Paid Off

Ultimately, the other manufacturers apparently got too in their heads about what to do with their EV pickups. Or, maybe they didn’t put enough thought into it. Only Ford seemed to understand the guiding principle of: “Don’t change much about the truck people already love. And don’t charge too much, either.” The F-150 Lightning kept most of the trims, all of the style, and a reasonable price point. Naturally, Ford is making headlines for good reasons, while the others…are not. If you want a pickup that looks, drives, and operates a lot like the one you already know, the Ford F-150 Lightning is the way to go.