Let's Buckle Up For Another Round of America's Full-Size EV Pickup Truck Wars!

EV pickup truck wars 7 photos
Photo: Ford
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Just a few months ago, when it launched at the end of 2023, it seemed like Tesla's Cybertruck would become an unstoppable force due to pent-up demand and celebrity marketing. However, as it turns out, the competition is not sitting idle and admitting defeat.
The Blue Oval company, the second largest of the Big Detroit Three, is – of course – the world's top-selling pickup truck manufacturer and builds one every 33 seconds. Naturally, it's the F-Series that's Mr. Popularity rather than the smaller ones. But that doesn't mean the mid-size Ranger is doing so badly in foreign territories like Australia, Asia, or Europe, whereas the Maverick unibody compact offering has proved that it can live up to the standards of its larger siblings.

While things are easy to explain from the F-Series standpoint, which is the best-selling nameplate overall in America – not just the top-delivered pickup truck; it's not all that straightforward with the all-electric variant. Indeed, Ford counts on the F-150 Lightning for a portion of the sales, and during the first three months of 2024, its EV jumped more than 80% compared to Q1 of 2023. However, the starting base was quite minute – 4,291 sales back then and 7,743 deliveries during the January to March period of 2024.

Still, that's enough to make it confident that it can keep up with the competition. Just recently, Ford announced the final specifications and pricing details for the 2024 model year, and contrary to the global trends, it slashed prices by up to $5,500 (for the Flash trim, which now starts from $67,995) because there's a perceived EV slowdown going on around the automotive industry right now. The base F-150 Lightning, meanwhile, which is not as compelling as the Flash because it has the standard battery rather than the Extended Range module, kicks off at $62,995 instead of $64,995 as before.

Frankly, it's pretty clear that Ford positioned the more expensive Flash as the best-buy option for those conscious enough to do the math – it has more range and a lot more equipment for an extra $5k, which is a great deal. In fact, as far as we can tell, they're putting the F-150 Lightning Flash directly in the path of Tesla's Cybertruck and Rivian R1T as the former kicks off at $79,990, and it's the base offer because the RWD model is not delivering yet whereas the latter starts from $69,900 in Adventure format.

Interestingly, there are a couple of caveats regarding these two. First and foremost, it seems that the Tesla Cybertruck hype may have run aground with the automaker dropping 10% of the global workforce and also impacting top brass along with the Cybertruck production. Additionally, there's a current stop-sale order due to a potential fault, and all of a sudden, the online portal reads delivery in 2025 for all Cybertruck models, not just the RWD model. Suppose the situation is resolved in a timely manner. In that case, there's (almost) no harm done as Ford also had to deal with such a major problem with the F-150 Lightning, and now everything is in running order with deliveries again shipping as usual from the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center.

Rivian, on the other hand, not only presented the R2 and R3 models a while ago but is also currently testing the R1-series updates, with many features set to debut with the mid-cycle refresh. They need them, of course, as they are burning through cash like lava, and the R2 and R3 are years away from starting production and sales. But wait, as there is more. Lastly, General Motors is moving the EV mountains from its path and is gearing up to release both the Chevrolet Silverado EV RST and the GMC Sierra EV Denali on the US market.

Remember, they have the GMC Hummer EV pickup truck and SUV on sale from $96,550, and the former competes with the 845-hp Tesla Cybertruck Cyberbeast in terms of performance and pricing, but the behemoth series only sold 1,668 examples during the first three months of the year. For sure, GM needs a breakthrough to catch up to Tesla, Rivian, and Ford – and it's not the Chevy Silverado EV WT workhorse, for sure. Instead, this summer is finally heating up with another round of the full-size EV pickup truck wars because – at long last – Chevrolet and GMC have announced the updated specifications and pricing details for the Silverado EV RST First Edition and Sierra EV Denali Edition 1.

In a few words, they are just as powerful as announced - 754 hp and 785 pound-feet (1,063 Nm) of torque sent by the dual-motor setup to the front and rear axles. But they're also cheaper than initially previewed and have a longer GM-estimated range of 440 miles on a single charge. The MSRPs are now $94,500, plus the $1,995 destination fee, for Chevrolet, and $97,500, plus the $1,995 destination and freight charges, for the GMC, instead of $105k and $107k, respectively. That's cool, right? Alas, one more player is waiting to see what needs to be done to take the crown – later this year, probably during the fall season, Ram Trucks will also unleash their promised Ram 1500 REV all-electric pickup truck. After that, there's also the 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger, which might change the game with its plug-in 'hybrid' setup sporting electric motors, a battery pack, and the classic V6 as a range extender aid.
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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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