HomeGuideGas or Electric Truck? Ford F-150 Lightning Vs GMC Sierra: Towing Range,...

Gas or Electric Truck? Ford F-150 Lightning Vs GMC Sierra: Towing Range, Capacity and Cost

Internet space is flooded with comparison videos of EVs pushing the boundaries with their capabilities. We witness many Youtubers and tech enthusiasts dig deeper and find out the extremes of electric vehicles. However, the main reason behind this is that they are looking to know everything that is coming in near future. Electric vehicles towing capacity would obviously impact the range, sometimes could go beyond 50% range loss. However, it would be interesting to see when the same thing is done with a gas-powered engine to see the difference in performance.

The Fast Lane Truck, YouTube channel came up with a roaring comparison video to show the performance of gasoline-powered and electric trucks towing the same camper. Many tech enthusiasts find themselves questioning the performance of electric-powered trucks because of the power differences. However, the final nail to purchase comes down to the performance and budget mostly.

So, which powertrain beasts offer the best performance? F-150 Lightning sure checks many boxes when compared with other similar ICE trucks. The video, sponsored by Magna, uses F-150 Lightning for the electric truck and GMC Sierra 1500 Denali for the gas-powered companion.

Ford F-150 Lightning Vs GMC Sierra

The comparison video begins with towing the same trailer camper on both pickup trucks. The GMC Sierra has a 24-gallon fuel tank, and the Ford F-150 Lightning is having an additional power boost in case the Extended Range Battery gets stranded after the 320 miles range. However, the point to note here is that the standard EPA range stated here is for average drive and not for towing.

Ford F-150 Lightning vs GMC Sierra
Picture Courtesy – The Fast Lane Truck

The Fast Lane Truck or TFLC guys are well prepared to face any challenging situation where both trucks run out of juice. They are carrying a couple of gallons additionally for the V8 gas engine GMC Sierra, so they do not have to get stranded in the middle of towing test. Both drivers on the pickup trucks are connected to the radio to see how both perform. Both pickup trucks are topped up with fuel and 100 percent charge at a fast-charging station to get ready for the towing comparison.

The topped-up Ford at 100% charge predicts 282 miles on the range, but that is when the truck is not towing the trailer. The host then checks in details of the trailer to get precise information on how the range is affected when the trailer information is plugged into the system. Brake types are set at the medium effort for the trailer and some other useful information, the size of the trailer is added into the system like the width and length of the trailer among others. The YouTube video covers a lot more of such crucial information of the system inputs to get accurate details.

ATC Trailer

The trailer connected to both trucks is built in aluminum and can hold a significant payload. For the current comparison video, both ATC toy-hauler trailer campers are slightly over 6,000lbs.

Gas Vs EV Towing Capacity

The comparison towing trip begins from Longmont Colorado to go south on interstate I-25 towards Denver, to see how far both trucks could go. The gasoline-powered GMC truck, driven by Andre Smirnov, shows around 264 miles on a full tank with the towing trailer. However, the Ford F-150 Lightning driven by Tommy shows around 156 miles with towing camper. Nathan chase both the trucks in another support truck while GMC and Lightning tow their individual travelers.

We would inform you about the critical performance points of the comparison without you having to watch the whole video for the details. However, we recommend that you do watch the video, as there are so many pieces of information that are explained so well in the comparison video.

Final Stats On Both Trucks

The F-150 Lightning towing the trailer travels around 90 miles before needing the additional power boost. However, Tommy decides to not take any risk with the charging and plugs in the power boost at 9% charge remaining at 86 miles. The Lightning shows some eye-opening results by taking as much as 1% of battery charge for every 1 mile on the highway. The GMC Sierra Denali performed well with around 7.6mph pulling the same-sized trailer towards the south. The 6.2L GMC Sierra with a V8 engine covered over 155 miles and still had as much as one-fourth juice left in its tank.

Ford F-150 Lightning

F-150 Lightning did as much as 90 miles on one full charge towing the ATC trailer on the I-25 highway. Ford electric truck used around 119kWh to complete this distance before running out of battery. The Lighting pickup truck indeed is extremely energy-efficient but the lacks from packing enough charge in its battery pack to complete such towing trips. Tommy had to pay around $30 for one full charge of the battery pack on Lightning but requires you to spend a considerable amount of time waiting for the charging.

Ford F-150 Lightning Economy

GMC Sierra 1500 Denali

GMC pickup truck performs quite well on the numbers of miles on a full tank covering twice the distance as Lightning and still having one-fourth fuel left in its tank. GMC Sierra’s final economy came down to 8.9 mpg making the maximum towing capacity of a similar trailer to be around 210 miles. It took around $100 for the full tank, but no one had to wait for the gasoline topping.

What To Expect In The Future?

Both pickup trucks performed quite well considering the wind and other factors faced by both drivers on the pickup trucks for the towing comparison. Both trucks perform quite differently even when on the same route, same payload, same time, and same temperature inside the cabin. GMC Sierra performs lavishly with its premium looks, driving assistance system, and impeccable control on the drive. However, the Ford F-150 Lightning kind of disappoints with the experience as the towing resulted in some jiggly braking experience, and the range did not last as stated by the system.

Planning a camping trip with a trailer in tow definitely is not a good idea with Ford for now. However, the current technology in electric vehicles is growing substantially, and it would be interesting to see how the future shapes up the coming electric trucks’ performances. If you are looking to buy a pickup truck for significant use for towing long miles, wait for the EV trucks to become better. However, gasoline pickup trucks would cost mountains but would get the job done for now. We all are looking forward to seeing some breakthroughs in the coming times for electric pickup trucks.

Purnima Rathi
Purnima Rathi
Purnima has a strong love for EVs. Whether it's classic cars or modern performance vehicles, she likes to write about anything with four wheels, especially if there's a cool story behind it.


  1. Electric truck has major down falls towing, #1 which is not mentioned anywhere in articles.
    Towing EV truck would need to disconnected rv trailer from truck to charge, BECAUSE of its length which charging station have no access for.
    #2 it’s going to add 2 to 4 hours extra on a RV towing trip.
    Gas or diesel lose milage as well, but the glaring factor is I can drive up to fuel pump, trailer connected and be on road again in ten minutes.
    So I will still to my gas powered truck for maybe next 10 years and see if EV towing can even come close to trip time, distance range, mileage as for towing.
    For now EV truck is a “show piece” in city pick up homedepot supplies.


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