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Which electric pickup will win the hearts of Texans? A look at the Silverado, F-150 and Cybertruck

(Austonia/Tesla/Ford)

General Motors stepped onto Tesla's turf this week by bringing the 2024 Chevy Silverado EV to Austin for a showing. It's driving up competition in an increasingly hot market for electric pickups, which include the Cybertruck and Ford's F-150 Lightning.

“Especially here in Austin, there's a really, really high interest in electric vehicles and keeping that zero-emissions goal in mind,” said Rachel Reid, a spokesperson for General Motors. "And then just like anywhere in Texas, trucks are something that people use in their daily lives for things from carrying different furniture or anything from a job site or even just having the family in the backseat and being able to carry something along with them.”

Pickups play a major role in Texas culture, so much that the Texas Standard notes auto companies sometimes approach their marketing strategy by the regions of North, East, West and Texas. So, here’s a look at the pickup options in the coming years if you’re looking to go electric.

Production site and release schedule

The Silverado is being made at the company’s first fully dedicated EV assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan. Known as Factory ZERO, it’s named as such to reflect the company’s vision of a world with zero crashes, emissions or congestion.

The Cybertruck, meanwhile, will be produced at Giga Texas. At the recent opening of the factory in southeast Travis County, CEO Elon Musk addressed delays on the truck and said it would be out in 2023.

Orders are closed for the 2022 F-150 Lightning, but 2023 versions are just around the corner. They are being produced at Ford's EV center within their Rouge Complex in Dearborn, Michigan

Cost

The Silverado has an estimated MSRP starting at $39,900 with a reservation cost of $100. Depending on which feature options are added, the truck could end up costing around $80,000.

The Cybertruck also requires a reservation cost of $100 and a final price varies by the number of electric motors. So the price ranges from $39,900 for a single motor and $69,900 for a tri motor.

This year’s F-150s ranged in price from $39,974 to $90,874.

Autonomous features

You’ll have to be at the wheel and alert no matter which car you choose since no vehicle is fully autonomous.

Chevrolet has compatible roads that drivers can use their driver-assisted technology, known as Super Cruise which includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering and hands-free operation with an attentive driver.

The Cybertruck order site doesn’t appear to have many details on what its tech will include, but Tesla has previously made plans to launch a new self-driving computer with the pickup.

The more expensive Lightning models have Blue Cruise available, which is Ford’s hands-free driving system that can be used on prequalified sections of divided highways. It includes a driver-facing camera to ensure the driver has their eyes on the road and Ford has said there’s potential for future enhancements.

Charging time and range

If you’re looking to take some road trips outside of Austin, then this is one of the critical factors you’ll consider while EV shopping.

The Chevy is estimated to reach 400 miles of range. With a 10 minute charge on a fast charger, it’ll be able to get about 100 miles of range.

It will vary by battery pack, but the Environmental Protection Agency shows the Lightning as capable of traveling between 230 and 320 mile range.

It’s yet to be realized, but Tesla is currently boasting the highest of the three with up to 500 miles of range on its Cybertruck.

Screens and storage

Of course, there are things you can do to keep busy while charging.

Generally, Tesla screens can display navigation, apps and a media player where you can access the radio and streaming services.

When it comes to loading up the vehicle, the Cybertruck flexes enough storage in the back for a motorcycle that you can transport up with a ramp.

The Silverado has a screen above the wheel that functions as a traditional dashboard and another larger screen. Chevy also replaced the space up front where an internal combustion engine would be with a “frunk.”

The Lightning also has a frunk, with Insider listing it as one of the reasons it’s perfect for road trips.

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