With EVs, capacity and range are the name of the game. Carmakers are locked in endless one-upmanship, constantly trying to outdo each other for headline-grabbing numbers in both categories. Ford, however, is making headlines for a different reason — how small the battery options are on its F-150 Lightning.
In a livestream from December 16th, re-shared on YouTube by DriveElectric Columbus, Ford revealed a spec sheet for the upcoming Lightning that included battery options for each of the truck’s trim levels. Both options, however, are smaller than the competition from GMC and Rivian: 98 kWh for the base battery, and 131 kWh for the extended range.
Ford is aiming for 230 miles of range from the base battery, and 300 from the Extended-Range option. Given the range estimates from the competition, these numbers seem realistic for their respective capacity options — though certainly not class-leading.
For comparison, the Rivian R1T’s smallest battery is 135 kWh. That’s said to deliver 314 miles of range, making Ford’s expectation of 300 miles from its slightly-smaller Extended-Range pack seem entirely feasible. The Rivian, however, can be optioned up to a 180 kWh “Max Pack” battery that advertises “400+ miles” of usable range — far more than either Lightning offering.
The Hummer EV’s smallest battery, good for an advertised “250+” miles of range, has yet to be fully revealed. The Edition 1 variant of the medium-duty truck, however, has a 200 kWh pack good for 329 miles of range. While that battery size seems like it should allow the Hummer greater mobility, remember that the truck weighs over nine thousand pounds — that’s a lot of mass to haul.
While 230 miles of range is likely more than most people drive in a day, typical Truck Stuff like hauling cargo or towing will drain that battery far faster than any EPA test cycle. For Lightning buyers looking to really use their trucks, maybe shell out for the bigger battery — or for the Rivian.