The Rivian R1T may have beaten the Ford F-150 Lightning to market by about eight months, but the truth is these two electric trucks are quite different beasts.
The R1T is an adventure vehicle that combines great off-road capability with premium quality and features while the F-150 Lightning is a work truck at its core. Sure, Ford sells three more expensive trim levels above the $40,000 F-150 Lightning Pro workhorse, but that doesn't change the fact the Lightning has blue-collar origins.
Since these two models and the GMC Hummer EV are currently the only electric pickup trucks in production in the United States, comparisons between them are inevitable. In the above video, YouTuber Rivian Dad, who owns an R1T pickup, checks out the Ford F-150 Lightning for the first time.
His first impressions? Climbing inside the truck, he is struck by the large number of buttons in the Ford compared to the Rivian. He doesn't see that as a negative but something different from what he is used to.
He finds the F-150 Lightning's cabin pretty cozy and more spacious than the Rivian, especially for rear passengers. Something else he likes about the Ford is that it offers more information for the driver on the instrument cluster and center display.
Speaking of driver information, he looks a bit disappointed when Andre from TFL Truck—the F-150's owner—informs him that the Lightning only has one ride height setting since it features a traditional coil spring suspension.
The Rivian R1T owner gets to take a short drive in the Ford and notices that it delivers pretty similar acceleration and the suspension does a good job of absorbing bumps—even though it has nowhere near as many adjustments as in the Rivian.
In the end, these are two different trucks that target different demographics, although the F-150 Lightning does overlap with the R1T in its Platinum top trim. The good thing is US customers can choose between three different models of electric trucks and will have more options next year with the arrival of the Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra Denali EV and—fingers crossed—the Tesla Cybertruck.