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Ford F-150 Lighting vs Tesla Cybertruck: No, it won’t cost $30k more

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There are articles and tweets floating the interwebs today about leaked pricing for the Ford F-150 Lighting electric truck. Which of course sparked F-150 Lighting vs Tesla Cybertruck pricing conversations. To me this is kind of like comparing KITT from Knight Rider to a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. One is real, and the other is, well, a maybe at best.

But to keep my boss happy, sure, let’s have that conversation.

The primary article making this comparison is on the InsideEVs website, and it basically says a comparably equipped F-150 Lighting will cost about $30k more than the Cybertruck.

Let’s dig into that a bit.

The leaked document states all the trims will have a dual motor and be 4X4. So, the only Tesla truck we can truly compare it to will be the mid-grade dual motor AWD Cybertruck, which has a range of 300 miles and a base price of $49,900. That’s without any options or subscriptions, and if past Tesla pricing is anything to go by, this is not what you’ll actually pay for the vehicle. But since this whole article is fiction at this point, let’s say that is the actual price you’ll pay.

If you look at the fine print on the leaked document, all F-150 Lightning trucks will have the extended range battery as an option. That means even the base Pro work truck, can get the extended range. InsideEVs says the only comparable vehicle will be the Lariat+ Premium Package because it includes the extended range battery and seems to be comparably equipped to the Cybertruck.

I’ll argue the XLT trim is a pretty nice truck at a base level, and that’s where we should start the comparison. While we don’t know what the price of the extended range battery will be, let’s extrapolate. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has an extended range-range eAWD battery option that costs $7,700. So, let’s use that as a base.

If you take the XLT, add $7,700 and account for the federal tax credit (which Tesla doesn’t qualify for any more), you’re looking at $53,174. And that puts it in the Cybertruck ballpark.

 Ford F-150 LightningTesla Cybertruck
Dual Motor AWD$39,974 $49,900
Dual Motor AWD after tax credit$32,474 $49,900
Dual Motor AWD w/ 300 miles of range (est)$60,674 $49,900
Dual Motor AWD w/ 300 miles of range after tax credit (est)$53,174 $49,900

So, as you can see, if you look at dual motor to dual motor, 300 miles of range to 300 miles of range (not the tri-motor 500 miles of range), the F-150 Lightning vs Cybertruck is theoretically competitively priced.

f-150 lightning vs cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck (Image courtesy of Tesla)

The bottom line on the F-150 Lightning vs Cybertruck

Ford Motor Co. isn’t stupid. It knows people are going to do F-150 Lightning vs Cybertruck comparisons, and even if the Cybertruck is just vaporware at this point, the F-150 Lighting will have to measure up.

To create an EV truck that costs $30K more than a potential Tesla truck would be stupid.

We don’t have any confirmation from Ford that the leaked pricing is real, nor do we have a real ETA for when Cybertruck might be released. So, only time will tell what’s real and what isn’t.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is a syndicated automotive writer. Jill also manages the “Drive, She Said” blog for ChicagoNow and posts reviews to DriveChicago. She is the president emeritus of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. She also serves as a judge for the Automotive Heritage Foundation Journalism Awards. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for the Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and Pioneer Press Newspapers.

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