Ford F-150 Lightning vs Tesla Cybertruck: Which EV Pickup is the Better Pick?

A black 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning for sale parked outside a modern glass building.

Not long ago, pretty much all electric vehicles were compact cars. With electrification picking up momentum, however, now you can get an EV in almost any body style you’re looking for, including SUVs and full-size pickup trucks. In fact, you have multiple options to choose from for each. During the 2022 model year, when buyers could first find the Ford F-150 Lightning for sale, its only real competition was the Rivian R1T, a truck that was out of the price range of many drivers and didn’t have useful features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. In fact, both of those points are still true for the 2024 model. The field is expanding further, and a flashy new competitor has entered the ring: the Tesla Cybertruck.

You don’t have to be following automotive news closely to have heard about the Cybertruck. It made a big splash online with its controversial design, and now it’s in the headlines again as it’s finally being released to the public, years later than was initially announced. Now that it’s here, how does this newcomer stack against one of the first EV pickups available in the US, the Ford F-150 Lightning? Today, we’ll give you a head-to-head match between these two models.


If you can’t rely on your pickup truck, you’re going to have a bad time. One of a truck’s biggest selling points is its no-nonsense ability to get hard work done and get you where you need to go through thick and thin. You also need to be able to trust a truck’s statistics so that you can choose the right trailer, plan your route, and not bite off more than you can chew. With all that in mind, which of these trucks can you trust?

The F-150 Lightning has been on the streets longer than the Tesla Cybertruck. Its range and MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) have undergone a great deal of real-world testing and have been verified by the EPA. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also evaluated the F-150 Lighting’s safety, and the truck has received a five-star overall safety rating for the 2022, 2023, and 2024 model years. At the time of writing, the Cybertruck hasn’t yet been tested by NHTSA, and the EPA doesn’t have figures for its MPGe.

While the public and reliable government agencies have tested the F-150 Lightning, claims about the Tesla Cybertruck should be taken with a grain of salt. That’s especially true since the Cybertruck’s announcement back in 2019 featured a broken promise right from the start. Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed on stage, during a livestream, that the truck’s windows were shatterproof and had the truck’s head of design throw a metal ball at them to prove it. The window wasn’t as indestructible as advertised and broke under the impact.

This is about more than just windows. It encapsulates Tesla’s habit of making big claims that it’s not always ready to back up with actual quality. By contrast, the F-150 Lightning’s benefits are real and verified. When Ford says that its truck can be used to power your house in the case of a blackout, they mean it. That’s not something the Cybertruck claims to be able to do, despite Tesla offering the Powerwall, based on its EV technology, to help power home residences. If it didn’t deliver on its promises, the F-150 Lightning wouldn’t be the NACTOY 2023 North American Truck of the Year, the 2023 MotorTrend Truck of the Year, or the top-rated Electric Truck of 2024 on Kelley Blue Book. That kind of third-party recognition only comes from following through on what you publicly announce.

The modern interior of a 2024 Tesla Cybertruck.


For the 2024 model year, the Cybertruck won’t offer the rear-wheel drive model, the most affordable advertised trim. The cheapest option available is the all-wheel drive trim, which starts at $79,900. The more affordable rear-wheel drive model will be released next year and will have a starting price of $60,990. By contrast, the most basic 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning trim, the Pro, has a starting price of $49,995, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive. Tesla’s AWD trim is also more expensive than the next two higher trims in the F-150 Lightning’s lineup. The XLT starts at $54,995, and the Lariat starts at $69,995. Comparing each brand’s top trim, the difference is a bit smaller, but the Ford is still more affordable, with the F-150 Lightning Platinum starting at $91,995 while the Cybertruck Cyberbeast starts at an estimated $99,990.

We should also add that while the Cybertruck has only announced three trim levels, and only two of those are currently available, the F-150 Lightning has four available. This makes it easier for drivers to find the right fit for their budget. Ford’s trim levels also give you more variety in included features instead of simply differentiating between how many motors power the truck. More variety means more freedom to choose the kind of truck you’re looking for.


The as-yet unavailable rear-wheel drive base model of the Cybertruck has an estimated towing capacity of 7,500 lbs, while the base setup of the F-150 Lightning can tow 7,700 lbs. With the extended-range battery, the Lightning can tow up to 10,000 lbs, a figure that’s remained the same since its debut for the 2022 model year. The Tesla Cybertruck can reportedly tow up to 11,000 lbs with the two- or three-motor setups, which isn’t much more utility when you consider the significantly higher price.

The F-150 Lightning is also nine inches longer and 8.3 inches taller than the Cybertruck, providing plenty of room for passengers to get comfortable and drivers to stow all the cargo they need. When it comes to range, the F-150 Lightning gets 240 miles with the standard battery and up to 320 miles with the extended-range option. The Cybertruck has a company-estimated 250-mile range for the not-yet-available RWD trim and 340 miles for the AWD model. These figures still need to be tested by the EPA, while the agency has verified Ford’s numbers.

A silver 2024 Ford F-150 Lightning powering a home during a power outage.


The F-150 Lightning takes its styling cues from the traditional gas-powered Ford F-150, a truck that has been the best-selling vehicle in America for over four decades. This is a tried and true look that drivers keep returning to year after year. The F-150 Lighting looks modern, with unique elements like its front lighting setup, but it doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken.

The Cybertruck, on the other hand, is clearly trying very hard to look unique. Its strange exterior is certainly going to stand out on the road, but not necessarily in a good way. Many choices seem to have prioritized style over practicality. The door handles are less convenient to use, the cargo bed is difficult to access from the side, and the sightlines are questionable.

No Contest

The Cybertruck may claim a slightly higher maximum towing capacity and longer top range than the F-150 Lightning, but when you look beyond those numbers, Ford starts to get the edge pretty quickly. The F-150 Lightning is a more tried and true model based on a reliable pickup that has been a bestseller for significantly longer than Tesla has even existed. With a more affordable price, a better look, and a more reliable track record, the F-150 Lightning is simply the better pick for drivers who want an EV truck they can depend on.


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