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Edmunds Test-Drives the Ford F-150 Lightning, Makes a Startling Discovery

If we count out the mammoth GMC Hummer EV, for obvious reasons, only two trucks are dueling for the title of the most efficient electric pickup on the market. The battle was settled by the EPA, which handed the title to the R1T, but a new test done by Edmunds shows that the Lightning might actually be more efficient.
Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum 6 photos
Ford F-150 Lightning PlatinumFord F-150 Lightning PlatinumFord F-150 Lightning PlatinumFord F-150 Lightning PlatinumFord F-150 Lightning Platinum
The first electric pickup truck on the market, the Rivian R1T, proved a superb vehicle, impressing both customers and critics from the media. It enjoyed an undisputed reign of its segment for a while until Ford launched its electric version of the bestseller F-150. They are fundamentally different, with the Rivian take being geared towards the adventure crowd and Ford aiming to offer just an electric version of the trusted F-150.

Despite different approaches, the R1T and the F-150 Lightning are very close regarding specifications. This includes range and efficiency, with the EPA placing the Rivian slightly on top of the Lightning. But the result has not satisfied the guys at Edmunds, who wanted to test for themselves both trucks in real-life conditions. They have already done that with the Rivian R1T, and a recent test with the F-150 Lightning shows a surprising result.

For this test, Edmunds chose the Ford F-150 Lightning Platinum, which has a 131-kWh battery capacity. This is very close to the 135-kWh battery of the Rivian R1T. According to the EPA results, the Rivian beats the Platinum F-150 Lightning with a 314-mile (505-km) range versus 300 miles (483 km). In Edmunds’ real-life test, the Rivian R1T managed to go 317 miles (510 km) on a full charge, beating the estimates by just 3 miles (5 km). But how would the F-150 Lightning perform?

It turned out it was better than expected. The Ford F-150 Lightning beat the EPA estimates with a total of 332 miles verified on the GPS. This was around 10 miles (16 km) more than Lightning’s onboard trip meter. Either way, this is above the EPA estimate. Remarkably, it is also above the Rivian R1T result in a similar real-life test.

Edmunds didn’t just compare the range in absolute terms and calculated both trucks’ energy consumption and efficiency. According to the results, the Ford F-150 Lightning ate 45.4 kWh/100 miles, which is 11% better than the EPA estimate of 51 kWh/100 miles. With the Rivian averaging 47 kWh/100 miles in Edmunds’ test, the Lightning proves more efficient than the Rivian truck. This is a startling discovery, but as one who performed quite a few range tests, I know these minor differences can swing in either direction, depending on many factors. Temperature, wind, traffic, and driver’s foot can all affect the results.

 
 
 
 
 

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