Is the all-new Ford F-150 Lightning really cheaper to drive than a new turbo-diesel, gas V8, or gas/electric hybrid pickup truck? We put these four pickups together for a definitive fuel, energy, and cost efficiency comparison. Contestants are a refreshed 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 Trail Boss with a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel Duramax engine, a refreshed and new 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X with a gas 6.2L V8, an all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro with a gas/electric powertrain, and our long-term all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning.
You asked us to drive longer distances for our efficiency comparisons, so we extended our previous loop (that we used over the last 7 years) to a 164.5-mile distance. The loop starts in Longmont, Colorado takes us all the way to Fort Morgan, Colorado, and back to where we started. When we are not towing, we run all of our vehicles at the speed limit.
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The price of fuel continues to set new records. It’s getting very expensive to fill up a gas or diesel pickup truck (or any vehicle for that matter). In Colorado, we are relatively fortunate with gasoline and diesel fuel prices that are a bit lower than the national average. Nonetheless, it will currently cost well over $100 for a full tank of fuel in a pickup truck.
After completing our 164.5-mile loop on a hot summer day, we were pleasantly surprised with every truck in this lineup. The large 420 horsepower V8 in the GMC Siera off-road truck returned 20.3 mpg. The Sierra’s fuel cost $43.74 to make this trip. The off-road-ready Tundra TRD Pro Hybrid with its 437 horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 gas/electric hybrid returned 21.9 MPG. The Tundra’s fuel cost us $38.33. The 277 horsepower 3.0-liter turbo-diesel Silverado 1500 off-road truck came back with an impressive 27.0 MPG result and a $31.67 fuel cost.
The F-150 Lightning went to a public fast charger (Electrify America in this case), and received 77 kWh of energy (just over its 131 kWh total battery capacity). The Lightning registered 2.14 mi/kWh and an energy cost of $25.06 with a monthly $4 Electrify America membership.
In the end, the electric pickup truck was the cheapest to drive on this trip. If we wanted to charge it more slowly overnight at our office or home, the energy price for this trip would have been around $10. Still, the charging infrastructure needs more work. It needs to be expanded and more reliable. Also, the Lightning took nearly an hour to recharge (at the fast charger) after this trip. The battery technology and vehicles need to improve to allow for quicker charge times and more energy density.
According to the EPA, one gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kWh of energy, and one gallon of diesel fuel is equivalent to 37.9 kWh. Here is how much energy the trucks used (after the conversion).
- GMC Sierra gas V8: 273.0 kWh
- Toyota Tundra hybrid V6: 253.4 kWh
- Chevy Silverado turbo-diesel I6: 230.8 kWh
- Ford F-150 Lightning EV: 77 kWh
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Please join us in the video below for all the details and road trip fun.