F-150 Lightning vs Silverado EV: Which Electric Pickup Wins for Work and Play?

The eagerly anticipated battle for electric pickup truck supremacy is here. After dominating the gas-powered truck market for decades, icons like the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado are reinventing themselves with battery-powered models. But when it comes to choosing the 2023 F-150 Lightning or the 2024 Silverado EV, which one delivers the best bang for your buck?

This in-depth comparison examines all the key stats, capabilities and real-world usage factors to help truck shoppers pick the perfect EV hauler.

F-150 Lightning vs Silverado EV: At a Glance

Before diving into details, here‘s a high-level overview of how Ford and Chevy‘s offerings stack up:

SpecsF-150 LightningSilverado EV
Range230-320 miles400 miles (claimed)
0-60 mph3.8-4.4 seconds4.5 seconds
Torque775 lb-ft615-780 lb-ft
Max Towing10,000 lbs10,000 lbs
Payload1,480-2,000 lbs1,300 lbs
Charging Speed150 kW (adds 54 miles in 10 min)350 kW (adds 100 miles in 10 min)

As expected for two brand new models in a fledgling vehicle segment, there are pros and cons to both electric trucks. Let‘s analyze the key differences in more detail.

Driving Range and Charging Comparison

For truck owners who frequently haul heavy trailers or equipment long distances, driving range between charges is a major consideration. The Silverado EV seems to have a decisive advantage here.

  • Silverado Range: Chevy claims an impressive 400+ miles from the top Trail Boss and RST trims to the base Work Truck model. This would beat any available EV pickup. However, it’s based on computer modeling, not EPA testing yet.
  • Lightning Range: The entry Lightning Pro offers just 230 miles from its standard battery. Extended range batteries found in higher XLT, Lariat and Platinum series produce 320 miles maximum. Disappointing but not deal-breaking for local hauling.

Advantage: Silverado EV, at least according to Chevrolet’s estimates.

To maximize range, both trucks need to recharge quickly on DC fast charging when pressed for time. Their differing electrical architectures produce different results.

  • Silverado Charging: With an advanced 800V battery system, the Silverado EV can swallow up to 350 kW charging streams. This adds about 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes according to Chevrolet.
  • Lightning Charging: Saddled with a 400V battery, the Lightning maxes out at around 150 kW charging. Its extended battery can recover 54 miles in 10 minutes.

Advantage: Silverado EV for its vastly quicker energy intake.

Home and job site charging offers more flexibility. The Lightning provides up to 10 120V outlets to run tools and equipment (8 on the Silverado EV). It also uniquely serves as a backup home generator thanks to its optional Intelligent Power System.

Performance, Towing and Payload

Speed and working capability are other crucial considerations for pickup buyers. Here‘s how these all-electric workhorses compare:

  • Acceleration: In base form, the Silverado EV nips the Lightning, hitting 60 mph in 4.5 seconds versus 4.4 seconds. But higher Lightning models with bigger batteries drop time to 3.8 seconds. Both feel instantaneously quick by full-size truck benchmarks.
  • Towing: The max tow rating differs little between the EV trucks at 10,000+ pounds. But oddly, the Silverado can yank a full 8,000 pounds even in base Work Truck form, handily beating the Lightning‘s 5,000 rating without an optional towing package.
  • Payload: Measured by how much weight you can carry in the bed and cab, the Lightning once again wins. A maximum of 2,000 pounds for the entry Lightning Pro trounces the Silverado EV’s 1,300 rating.

Advantage: Mixed, with payload going to the Lightning and base towing capacity awarded to the Silverado.

Utility and Work Features

As the popularity of using pickups like family vehicles proves, utility matters as much as raw capability.

  • Bed and Cargo: The Silverado EV boasts an extending midgate to expand cargo room into the cab, elongating total capacity to an immense 9-10 feet. Plus it offers a clever Multi-Flex tailgate with retractable stops, good for accessing the bed at odd angles.
  • Power Options: Ford equips every Lightning with four 120V outlets in the bed to operate power tools or equipment. That’s two more than Chevy provides. But Silverado offers up to two 240V outlets that enable heavier-duty devices.
  • Off-Road Gear: Rugged off-road enthusiasts will favor Chevy’s upcoming Silverado EV Trail Boss model. Its automatic adaptive air suspension, all-terrain tires and innovative crab walk feature power over rough terrain. Ford has no extreme off-road package yet.
  • Aftermarket Support: This is an underreported but vital advantage for the Lightning. As an F-150 underneath, owners can keep using existing tonneau covers, bed racks, hitches and more. Silverado EV’s unique architecture has no interchangeable parts.

Advantage: Lightning for ubiquitous aftermarket gear and bed power outlets. Silverado for maximum cargo flexibility.

Technology, Features and Amenities

Increasingly customers expect work vehicles to serve double duty as family transportation with all the premium accoutrements too. Here‘s how these next-gen electric trucks stack up.

  • Driver Assists: Each pickup provides effective hands-free highway driving aid. Ford‘s Blue Cruise system claims hands-free functionality on over 130,000 miles of mapped roads. Chevrolet‘s Super Cruise surpasses that at over 200,000 miles.
  • Infotainment and Controls: You’ll either love or hate the Lightning’s optional massive vertical touchscreen. It looks like a tablet grafted onto the dashboard, freeing space elsewhere. The Silverado EV sports a more conventional 17-inch horizontal display.
  • Sound System: Audiophiles will dig the Silverado EV’s immersive AKG Studio Reference system with its 14 custom-tuned speakers producing 3D audio effects. The Lightning‘s optional 18-speaker B&O system is no slouch either.
  • Modern Styling: Beauty is subjective, but to many the Lightning artfully modernizes classic Ford truck styling cues for the electrified era. The Silverado EV appears more radically different than its ICE forebears.

Advantage: Tie, depending on preferences for displays, audio and aesthetics.

Pricing and Availability

You generally get what you pay for with vehicles. But market conditions and production constraints make pricing and acquiring some models tricky propositions.

  • MSRP Range: The Lightning spans from $47,000 to $97,000 for its sold-out 2022 model year. Silverado EV is projected to run from $40,000 for a work-oriented WT to $105,000 for a fully-loaded first edition. Both target working folk and premium buyers.
  • Real World Cost: Dealer markups plague the first model years of hot vehicles, distorting real transaction prices. Expect to pay over list price for early Silverado EVs. Lightning dealers presented massive markups too, but Ford is cracking down on them for 2023 models.
  • Availability: You can order a 2023 Lightning now, though supply constraints lead to long ten month waits. Silverado EV reservations filled up instantly, with first deliveries not happening until spring 2023 per Chevrolet.

Advantage: Lightning for orderability, albeit with a long wait. Silverado trails as a concept awaiting production still.

Comparing F-150 Lightning and Silverado EV Pros and Cons

With so many close metrics and some clear leaders in certain categories, picking whether the Ford or Chevy is best for you depends on your priorities.

Ford F-150 Lightning Pros:

  • Faster acceleration and power
  • Higher payload capacity
  • Abundant aftermarket support
  • Can Power Your Home During Outages
  • More bed power and equipment options

Ford F-150 Lightning Cons:

  • Less maximum tow rating without adding options
  • Lower overall driving range
  • Slower charging rate and underlying tech

Chevy Silverado EV Pros:

  • Potentially 400+ mile max range
  • Blazing fast 800V charging
  • Huge expandable cargo space
  • Higher base tow rating
  • Fast 0-60 time

Chevy Silverado EV Cons:

  • No interchangeable existing parts
  • Less bed outlet power options
  • Unproven EPA range and tow ratings
  • Unknown off-roading chops

Which Electric Truck Reigns Supreme Overall?

Declaring one truck the undisputed winner depends greatly on the role it will play for potential owners.

The Ford F-150 Lightning appears the better all-around choice for heavily using the bed to haul equipment, gear or building materials day in and day out. Its stronger payload rating, abundant power outlets and enormous aftermarket support for racks and accessories make it the electric truck built for work. Families will also love features like the backup home generator.

For truck owners prioritizing maximizing range between charges, needing to tow heavyweight trailers long distances, or wanting capabilities like the enormous cargo flexibility, the Chevy Silverado EV promises to outperform. Of course, its 400 mile range and 350 kW charging claims remain unproven until EPA testing concludes.Government regulators have actually certified it to exceed General Motors’ own range estimate in recent testing though!

At the end of the day, there are no bad options between Ford and Chevy‘s exceptional entries in the exciting electric pickup segment. Buyers who study their unique capabilities against their vehicle usage and lifestyle needs are sure to end up with smile-inducing, planet-helping EV truck satisfaction for years to come.

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