My Car Quest

April 20, 2024

Editorial: Capitalism At Its Best – Ford vs Tesla

by Wallace Wyss –

It is to laugh. Here’s Ford, desperate to catch up to Tesla in producing electric vehicles, trolling Tesla saying something to the effect of “Oh, and if your Tesla stops because it’s out of juice, don’t worry–our Ford F-150 Lightning can stop and recharge it.”

While Ford has only sold only a fraction of all electrics compared to Tesla, who sell 100% electrics, it’s a double dig, saying “Not only did we beat you to market with an electric pickup truck” but “our pickup produces so much electricity you can use it to charge a dead Tesla.” And also implying Teslas die on the road.

Ford F-150 Lightning

Ford F-150 Lightning – photo compliments of Ford

I don’t know if Jim Farley the CEO of Ford has actually said this in a commercial but Ford is touting the ability of the F-150 Lighting to re-charge a Tesla (given the right connector are available) and I think it would be good PR if Lightning owners were to do this on occasion and post pictures of their “save” on the internet.

To do this the Lightning owner had to have ordered this extra cost option for charging. Some owners who have are posting photos of adapters they’ve been getting, including one that lets Tesla’s unique charging cable plug into the common SAE J1772 connector used by most other electric vehicles.

The F-150 Lightning has shown its value as a home backup power system when paired with a $3,895 integration system, where a full battery is able to power a typical home for three days or more. It could be the vaunted never-to-appear Tesla Cybertruck has this feature too but we won’t know it until it’s on the market.

I think this Ford jibe is practicing entrepreneurship in it’s highest form–to attack a rival in the one soft spot they have and rub it in. OK Tesla–the ball’s in your court. Bring out the Cybertrick and show what it can do that the F150 Lightning can’t. Or shut up. It’ going on four years that Tesla had been promising this miracle truck.

I am even thinking, if the Cybertruck is so challenging to build in its present form, Tesla should drop back ten and punt (not sure what it means but it sounds so positive). In other words retrench a little–make it easier to build as long as they can schedule it soon, as a 2023 offering.

I don’t think Ford can make 500,000 F150 Lightnings in a year but the fact they have beat Tesla to market with a product that Tesla was promoting first and can now mock Tesla ought to bring more stockholders to Ford. Common sense folks that want to back a company when they see a guy like Jim Farley, acting like a head coach whose team is down in points come in after half time with a plan B, a change in plans.

Tesla Cybertruck

Tesla Cybertruck – photo compliments of Tesla

Of course, Farley’s suggestion is not without peril–I doubt that many 2022 F-150 Lightning owners will stop along a busy high-speed highway to recharge a stranded Tesla. That’s a dangerous spot to be in, and even the Lightning with a full battery of its own would be committing to an hour delay to give a Tesla another 13 miles in range––perhaps far enough for it to find a real Tesla charging station.

Most probably, the drivers of most Lightnings would drive on by thinking: “That Tesla driver must have a cell phone, and a tow truck is on its way.”

I even want GM and Stellantis to come out with an electric pickup truck in this price range (F150 Lightning) that also has this feature–the more the merrier. In case you forgot, this is what capitalism is all about. It all benefits the consumer to have a choice.

Let’s see how Tesla responds…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss art

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, as co-host of KUCR FM Autotalk radio show, delivers weekly comment on the state of the new car and old car worlds. He is the author of 18 car books.


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Editorial: Capitalism At Its Best - Ford vs Tesla
Article Name
Editorial: Capitalism At Its Best - Ford vs Tesla
If your Tesla stops because it's out of juice, don't worry--the Ford F-150 Lightning can stop and recharge it.


  1. Wayne Watkins says

    At least the Ford lightning looks like a truck and you can actually go to a dealer and buy one, not like an unobtainable used Nike shoe that’s fallen out of a tree .

  2. I think Ford has a winner here and the Cybertruck is butt ugly. I would never buy one as my Ram Hemi is all about tow capacity. Once you pull an enclosed car trailer, horse trailer, camper, boat, etc. your range will be a small fraction of the advertised range on any electric truck. And can you imagine trying to pull into a charging port with a monster trailer behind you. That being said many buyers, probably half the pickup truck owners never tow anything so they can buy one of these and be fashionable and green at the same time. I’m waiting for the Ram though late to the dance it will have an onboard generator more like a hybrid that will have massive range compared to the others. Still can’t imagine why one would buy a Cybertruck but it would be a mistake to under estimate Musk. Go Ford.

  3. Forgot to mention when Jim Farley was interviewed he said the new Lightning has 3000 chips. Yikes!!

  4. Sorry to be “that guy”, but you have a typo in the headline. It should be “its”, not “it’s”. I don’t mean to be a pain, but after reading your emails for so long, I know that you are very precise and would therefore want to be correct.

  5. In the decade that the model S has been out I have only seen one on the side of the road, the guy had hit a light pole and went half way up the side walk. Electric cars charge overnight very cheaply, these cars start off with a ‘full tank’ every day. When Wally worries about running out of juice it’s because he has never charged a test car.

  6. These EV vehicles seem like the ultimate bait and switch. Once they transition everyone to EV then we”ll be beholden to the electric company as to what they want to charge. At least there is some competition among oil companies. While it is cheaper today probably only a matter of time till they close the gap and figure out a way to add road tax making it comparable to our gas car, Maybe they’ll add a chip to determine if you are charging your car on the road or at home to collect funds that could go sky high. Not to mention we don’t have enough capacity to charge all these vehicles and we’ll be relying on Russia and China for al the rare earth materials *nor our friends) Seems so ill conceived as we don’t even have a uniform plug!

  7. wallace wyss says

    You got it, Byron. The state of Calif. get 51 cents from every gallon of gas sold, When there’s more EVs they will probably think of s mileage tax so then going say, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, that 400 plus miles will be taxed and get you right up in an EV to what a ICE car would have cost in fuel costs. So all that work in changing from ICE to electric is still a shaft for the consumer. Plus the re-charging stations are insufficient so far, maybe Chrysler’s fine for lying about diesels, over $200 million, should have them paying for charging stations like VW did.

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