Might the Ford F-150 Lightning be a more attractive alternative to reserve holders of the Chevrolet Silverado EV than first thought? A recent survey conducted by the Silverado EV Forum would suggest so.
The Silverado EV, Chevrolet’s first electrified version of its flagship pickup truck, debuted earlier this month ahead of a two-stage roll-out in Canada in spring and fall 2023, and is said to be “completely breaking the mold” when it comes to the boundaries of full-size pickups. Gone is the ICE Silverado’s EcoTec3 V8 in place of two electric motors powering the front and rear axles, which, on the fully loaded Silverado EV RST First Edition that arrives first in early 2023, produces “more than 660 hp” and 780 lb-ft of torque. The Work Trim edition meanwhile, set to follow later that year, will produce a comparatively modest 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque, though both models will be capable of “of up to 640 km” courtesy of a larger capacity, GM-developed battery that’s also set to arrive in 2023.
Unsurprisingly, as the latest edition to Chevy’s Silverado portfolio, one “developed from the ground-up as a fully-electric truck” atop General Motors’ new, dedicated Ultium EV Platform, reservations for the launch edition electrified Silverado have apparently already been filled.
The Ford F-150 Lightning, meanwhile, debuted in May last year as the latest evolution of the Blue Oval’s vaunted pickup truck, and “the pillar of the company’s US$22 billion global electric vehicle plan.” Ford’s heavy duty EV also featured dual in-board motors, all-wheel drive setup that produces 563 hp and 775 lb-ft of torque (the most yet any F-150 to-date) from launch, but also concentrates heavily on occupant connectivity and clever packaging: with the V8 gone and the electric drivetrain mounted within the EV platform, the capacious opening left at the front – or “power frunk”, as it’s rather nauseatingly dubbed – is now dedicated to additional storage space. So popular has Ford’s EV pillar proven, production numbers have already been increased to 150,000 ahead of a targeted roll-out in Canada this spring.
Clearly many Silverado EV reserve holders have been keeping a close eye on the Lightning too, with more than half of the 115 surveyed by the Silverado EV Forum admitting they were also interested in reserving an electrified F-150 in place of the Chevrolet.
Pricing could be a prime reason for this. From launch, Canadian customers can purchase a $58,000 entry level Lightning with the fuller-trim $68,000 XLT arriving later this year. Silverado EV customers meanwhile have the ‘choice” of the $119,948 RST First Edition to begin with before the $52,448 entry level Work Trim arrives six months later.
Availability is another factor. Bizarrely, the GMC Sierra EV – essentially a more premium version of the Silverado EV that features the same underpinnings but with an expected power hike – was the least desirable of the alternate options provided, chosen as it was by just 1.2 per cent of those polled. This is lower even than the R1T, the maiden pick-up truck of California-based EV start-up Rivian.
The GMC Hummer EV, the admittedly less utilitarian but nevertheless inaugural member of GM’s electrified truck range, received 13.6 per cent of the votes, though this may have something to do with the $88,900 starting price – a $36K hike over the WT Silverado EV – of the 625 hp entry level model that’s not due to arrive until mid-2024. Prior to that, customers in the US have been forking over upwards of $100K for the 1,000 hp Edition 1 launch model.
Though Silverado EV Forum’s survey requires the requisite pinch of salt, it nevertheless makes for interesting reading. With Ford having already confirmed that targeted deliveries of the Lightning are set to begin this spring, for example, a full year ahead of the Silverado EV’s arrival (or 18 months if their choice is the entry level WT), it’s not unfeasible that many reserve holders on the Bowtie’s books could switch their allegiance in 2022.