As Gas Prices Soar, Silverado Owner Regrets Not Getting an Electric Truck Sooner

The average price of gasoline went from $1.94 in April 2020 to more than $4 a gallon today, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

At a time when the world is starting to open back up from COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions, allowing offices to open back up to commuters and family vacations to commence, the effects of higher prices, combined with growing inflation, are hitting consumers' wallets hard. Owners that bought a gas guzzler a few years ago are regretting it now.

Chris Weir, 42, from Atlanta, does most of his daily work in a V8-powered Chevrolet Silverado that he bought several years ago when the 15-miles per gallon (mpg) indicated average didn't hurt so much. Thanks to soaring gasoline prices, it now costs $100 to fill up the tank, which he does about once a week.

2010 Chevrolet Silverado
The 2010 Chevrolet Silverado came with several choices of V6, V8 and diesel engines. Chevrolet

But that will be over soon, as he has reservation for the battery-powered Ford F-150 Lightning pickup truck.

Weir owns a restaurant and picked up the 2010 Chevy to move supplies. When the Ford F-150 Lightning debuted last May, he was one of the early hand raisers.

"I regret not doing it instantly, I waited about a week," Weir told Newsweek. "My dealership communicates often, but I was informed they were only getting 25. So far, I think I'm one of the 25. I'm hoping the next call is to option it out."

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Weir says he's always been an early adopter, and was thinking about a Tesla, both the sedan and the Cybertruck.

"When I saw the Tesla truck, my first thought was 'why don't they make it look like a regular truck,'" said Weir. "And then I saw the Lightning, and heard the specs, I thought 'Ford is going to sell a ton of these.'"

As for the main complaint of EVs, range anxiety, Weir doesn't worry. His weekly mileage is far less than the 300 miles the new larger-battery F-150 Lightning offers. And the small bit of towing he needs to do doesn't worry him either.

Tesla Cybertruck
The Tesla Cybertruck has been plagued by delays. Tesla

"It's mostly hauling for me, not too much towing," said Weir. "And for that it will be fine. Even if the range drops off, I can charge it at my house every night, as soon as I get a charger installed, which I will do before it arrives. It doesn't hurt that the wife loves it too, she loves the frunk."

"Even when I reserved it last year, within the first week of reservations, gas prices weren't this high, and I was ready to change to an EV then. The no maintenance, obviously the immediate power, and it's not that much more than a mid-priced pickup," said Weir.

Weir didn't mention the Rivian R1T pickup, which was the first to the EV truck market. That hauler started arriving in driveways last September. After a big price bump, and then retraction, several versions of those are available to reserve now.

Other choices include the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV, which made its official debut during the Super Bowl. Chevy estimates a 400-mile range on a charge. It also will feature 17-inch infotainment screens and four-wheel steering. The last of the Big Three, the Ram 1500 EV pickup is also on the way. That vehicle will have the option of a range extender to recharge the truck's battery.

The F-150 Lightning, in addition to the 300-mile maximum range, will deliver 563 horsepower along with 775 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. It can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped and the front trunk holds 14.1 cubic feet and 400 pounds. The version with the smaller battery will travel 230 miles on a charge and deliver 426 horsepower. The base work truck will start at $41,669 before federal and state tax credits.