You asked for it and you got it! A range test that compares a V8-powered pickup truck to an all-electric pickup truck with identical trailers and on the same route at the same time. How far will each one go on a full tank or a full charge? The actual results may surprise you.
We tow identical ATC Game Changer camper / toy-hauler trailers with a new 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate V8 and an all-new 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning EV pickup truck. We start in Longmont, Colorado, and go south on interstate I-25 towards Denver and Colorado Springs. Tommy is driving the Lightning. Nathan is chasing us in a support truck, and I am driving the Sierra Denali.
The ATC toy-hauler trailers we are pulling are all aluminum and built to hold a lot of payload. The test weight of each trailer is just over 6,000 lbs, but the GVWR is over 11,000 lbs.
The results were eye-opening on many accounts. The F-150 Lightning was using 1% of battery to tow this trailer 1 mile at highway speeds. The GMC Sierra was registering 7.6 MPG after pulling the same trailer southbound. In the end, Tommy had to bring the Lightning for a charge after about 86 miles with about 9% of battery remaining. The Lightning used about 119 kWh of energy to make this trip.
Lightning’s maximum towing range is approximately 95 miles with this trailer.
On the other hand, the GMC Sierra 6.2L V8 went just over 155 miles with this trailer and still had about 1/4-tank remaining. So the gas-powered pickup truck pulled the trailer about twice the distance and had many miles left to go on one tank. The GMC’s final economy number was 8.9 MPG. The Sierra used approximately 315 kWh of energy to go the same 86 miles (if you consider that 1 gallon of gasoline is equivalent to about 33 kWh).
The F-150 Lightning is about 2.6 times more energy-efficient than a gasoline V8, but current battery technology is unable to pack a enough energy density to tow long distances.
This GMC’s maximum towing range is just over 210 miles with this identical trailer.