2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs 2022 Rivian R1T

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  • 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning

    A white 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is angled left.

    Starting at

    $39,974*

    2022 Rivian R1T

    A grey 2022 Rivian R1T is angled right.

    Starting at

    $67,500

    Est. 300Range (mi)314
    67.1Bed Length (in) 5
    LadderFrame ConstructionSkateboard Unibody

    In the past, when looking for an electric vehicle (EV), your options were quite limited and left you with only a few models to choose from – if you wanted an electric truck, you were pretty much out of luck. Fortunately, however, that is changing, and you now have dozens of different electric cars to choose from, including a growing number of all-electric pickups. Looking at two of the most impressive upcoming electric pickup options, the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs 2022 Rivian R1T, we can see that they both have a lot to offer and their power and performance are particularly impressive.

    That being said, it is still important to keep in mind the nature of the auto industry – there has been no shortage of new car companies that rose to fame and failed within a short period of time. We certainly have high hopes for startups like Rivian, and we look forward to seeing how they will challenge and change the auto industry over the next few years. Still, we are hesitant to tell any of our customers to take a risk on this kind of new brand, especially when established and reliable brands with a long history of quality, performance, and customer service are available.

    Looking at the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Rivian R1T, the Rivian certainly offers more power, but it also costs almost double the starting price and comes from a company with no history. We are definitely excited to see the all-electric future of the auto industry, and EV pickups are among the models we are most anticipating this year and for decades to come. But when we talk to our customers and discuss what is available, it is hard to suggest a brand that is still finding its way in the industry when you can go with the legacy and prestige of Ford, a manufacturer that has been building award-winning trucks for more than a century.

  • History

    A light blue, a dark blue, and a red 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning are shown with a distant city.

    When you are shopping for any kind of vehicle, it is always worthwhile to consider the sort of pedigree that a particular model you are looking at has. Things like horsepower, torque, and towing capacity are important when looking at a truck, of course, but there are other things, things you cannot easily quantify that are just as important. A brand-new model can certainly be a great choice, especially from a proven brand with a long reputation behind it, but there is something to be said for the confidence that a tried and tested model has to offer.

    Built Ford Tough

    We really stand behind the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning and everything that it is bringing to the table. It is true that the F-150 Lightning is, in some ways, an all-new model that we have never seen before. This is Ford's first commercially available all-electric truck, after all, and so we are incredibly excited to see everything that it will have to offer.

    But, at the same time, it is still a Ford F-150 – it features a battery module and motors rather than an engine, but the Lightning still builds on the same solid foundation. There are plenty of great trucks that have been around for decades, but the F-150 stands in a league all its own. After all, the Ford F-150 has been the bestselling truck in America for more than 40 years; the F-Series has been the bestselling vehicle overall for nearly as long. That is over 40 years of building their reputation, going up against the other top trucks on the market, and proving itself again and again – that is something you cannot find anywhere else.

    An Unproven Competitor

    While the Rivian R1T certainly looks exciting, there is no denying that it lacks something that the F-150 has. It is, ultimately, an unproven concept; it is a truly all-new model that is not built upon a proven foundation. That is a lot of pressure to live up to and, while the R1T looks like it may be amazing, you have to believe in everything it has promised. We are excited to see if it can deliver on those promises, but we are also hesitant to jump onto something that has not yet proven itself.

  • Brand Legacy

    A blue 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro is shown in a garage during a storm.

    It is easy to get focused on specific models of vehicles; we all do it, you look at various trucks for long enough, and the model starts to really stand out. This is not surprising, after all, since something like the F-150 lives on a level all its own, and that kind of name brings a lot of respect with it. And yet, the manufacturers and brands that make these models are just as important – sometimes, you could argue, even more important.

    The Ford Motor Company

    When someone mentions the Ford Motor Company, you immediately have ideas that you associate with it. Whether the name Ford conjures up images of the American workforce, the legacy of generations of amazing vehicles coming from Dearborn, Michigan, or the industrial revolution and the importance of Henry Ford's assembly line, you cannot overlook the role this brand has played in American manufacturing. The Ford Motor Company has existed and been making vehicles in the US for nearly 120 years – that is not something you can buy or replicate overnight.

    When we look at something new and exciting like the 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning, the legacy and reputation of the Blue Oval and everything it has offered over the years is a part of that. Whether you are talking about the foundations of the American auto industry with vehicles like the legendary Model T, classic cars like the Ford Mustang and Thunderbird, or modern icons like the F-Series trucks, the Ford brand stands for something special. This is why, year after year, industry insiders look to Ford and what they are doing to judge the future of the market.

    Mainstream Motors… Er, Rivian Automotive

    By comparison, a company like Rivian has a lot to prove. There is no denying that new startups like Rivian are certainly exciting, and they bring a lot of new ideas and innovation into the industry, but they also lack experience. Rivian has existed for only 12 years, and they have renamed themselves and shifted focus three times in that short period. From developing autonomous vehicle technology as Mainstream Motors to working on an electrified sports car as Avera Automotive, it was only recently that the company settled on its current name and strategy of building electric trucks and SUVs.

    While that makes the release of the R1T, their first pickup, all the more exciting, it also means this will be an important test for such a risky venture. At the end of the day, if the F-150 Lightning fails to meet expectations, then Ford will learn from it, regroup, and improve upon it; if the R1T fails, then it could easily spell the end of Rivian as a company - or at least another name change and shift in focus.

  • Price

    A man is shown charging a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning after winning a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning vs 2022 Rivian R1T race.

    If money is absolutely no object for you, then you might not care about the price of a vehicle that you are interested in. For the rest of us, however, the price of a vehicle is very important – for many drivers, the high price of a lot of EV models has kept them away from this market. Fortunately, this is starting to change as EVs become more accessible, but this is not something we see across the entire industry.

    Working Man's Truck vs Luxury Adventure Vehicle

    The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning will have a starting price of $39,974 - though there are plenty of options and available upgrades that can increase that price. Still, at the end of the day, that is a fantastic starting price for an all-new EV pickup.* In fact, it costs less than a comparable F-150 with a gasoline engine! This marks an important change in the auto industry, as EV models become more accessible for everyone and are presented as a reasonable option for all drivers.

    By comparison, the 2022 Rivian R1T starts at $67,500, and they only go up from there depending on the options and features you choose. Does that price deliver some impressive power and functionality? Yes, it certainly does. But that does not change the fact that starting at nearly $70k puts the R1T out of reach for a lot of drivers and truck owners out there. For that much money, you could get the all-new Ford F-150 Raptor, off-road pickup, and still have money left over.

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