all-electric pickup truck

Hard Truth About Pickups: Ford F-150 Found to be 100x More Polluting than Tesla Cybertruck


The Ford F-150 was found to be 100x more polluting than the Tesla Cybertruck by a study published in the National Observer. Many Tesla skeptics have argued that the company’s all-electric vehicles aren’t as green as advertised. However, this latest study reveals that Tesla vehicles are still way cleaner than any ICE vehicles even when charged on a dirty grid that uses coal.

According to the study on the National Observer, one Ford F-150—the 2.7 L 2WD variant—emits 100 tons of CO2 within a 200,00-mile lifespan. In comparison, Tesla’s Cybertruck—no variant was mentioned in the study— only emits 1 ton of carbon dioxide within the same lifespan when charged on a clean grid.

Tesla-Cybertruck-Ford-F-150-CO2-EmissionsCredit: National Observer

Ford’s other pickup trucks produce even more carbon dioxide than the F-150. Based on the study’s calculations, the F-150’s 2.7L 4WD variant emits more than 110 tonnes of CO2 in a 200,000-mile lifespan. The Raptor tops the charts, emitting 140 tonnes within the same period.

Even though it is common knowledge that the EVs produce less CO2 emisions, the Cybertruck's cleanliness has been questioned by hardcore TSLA skeptics--much like the other EVs in Tesla’s fleet. The main argument against Tesla’s green claims concerns the grid that produces the electricity EVs need to run. Skeptics argue that Tesla vehicles that use electricity from coal-run grids are just as polluting as ICE vehicles and maybe even more so. 

However, the study found that even if the Cybertruck were charged in China—which still heavily relies on coal to power its electrical grids—Tesla’s pickup truck would still be cleaner than the F-150. According to the charts, the Cybertruck would produce a little over 50 tons of CO2 if charged in China, while the F-150 would still emit 100 tons of CO2.


Credit: National Observer

Fuel Economy also explained that EVs—like the Cybertruck—convert 59 percent to 62 percent of the electrical energy they get from the grid to power their wheels. Meanwhile, only 17 percent to 21 percent of the energy produced by gasoline goes to the wheels of an ICE vehicle. Thus, the energy an EV receives is better utilized when it moves than the energy produced by gas in a fossil fuel-dependent vehicle.

To further bolster the study’s claim, research done by Bloomberg NEF stated that battery-powered vehicles produced 40 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than internal combustion engines in 2018.


Credit: National Observer

The crux of the matter seems to lie in the fact that a gasoline-dependent car’s CO2 emissions are set for life. The same can not be said for EVs. As countries start switching to cleaner forms of energy to power their grids, all-electric vehicles’ Carbon footprints are expected to decline.

On that note, the study also revealed that Ford’s F-150 emits more CO2 annually than 170 countries around the world, particularly Kenya, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Bangladesh, and Chile. For example, in 2018, Ford F-series pickups produced 100 tons of CO2, while Kenya produced less than 20 tons of carbon dioxide.


Credit: Tesla Carbon Impact

It isn’t difficult to calculate the amount of climate pollution a product could produce within its lifetime, stated the researchers of the National Observer study. If this is the case, it’s quite puzzling that automakers aren’t more mindful of their vehicles’ CO2 emissions. 

On the other hand, Tesla is one of the few car companies that deem the climate pollution of its cars as a dire issue that needs to be solved. The all-electric automaker has a page counting how many tons of CO2 emissions all Tesla vehicles save in real-time to remind owners about their small contributions to the world. Meanwhile, old-fashioned car makers, like Ford, are still selling cars that emit more CO2 pollutants than actual countries.

Featured Image Credit: Tesla & Ford

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About the Author

Claribelle Deveza

Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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