On October 21st 2020 we got our first proper look and the revival of the GMC Hummer brand with their all-electric Hummer EV. The Edition 1 of the Hummer EV is set to be available in late 2021, with less powerful/cheaper varients available in later years. GMC is marketing the Hummer EV as the first ‘Electric Super Truck’, and they have priced it as such, with the Edition 1 sporting a price tag starting at $112,595. So what can this beast of an electric truck tow? We don’t actually know yet, which is a bit worrying.
Key GMC Hummer EV Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – Yet to be confirmed
- Availability – Edition 1 from late 2021
- Price – Starting $79,995 (EV2) > $112,595 (Edition 1)
- GMC Range Estimates – 250+ miles (EV2) > 350 miles (Edition 1)
- Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 125 miles (EV2) > 175 miles (Edition 1)
- Maximum Charge Rate – 350 kW (At 800V/DC Fast Charger)
GMC Hummer EV HP & Torque
- EV2 and EV2X – AWD with 625 HP and 7,400 lb-ft of torque (at the wheel)
- EV3 – AWD with 800 HP and 9,500 lb-ft of torque (at the wheel)
- Edition 1 – AWD with 1,000 HP and 11,500 lb-ft of torque (at the wheel)
Hummer EV Towing Capabilities
The Hummer EV is a large (very large) and powerful fully electric truck, so presumably, it must have a pretty significant towing capacity right? Well, I guess so, but as yet we don’t actually know. Unlike Tesla, when they unveiled the Cybertruck and heavily promoted its towing capabilities, GMC is currently silent on the towing capabilities of the Hummer EV.
I find it odd in and of its self that GMC hasn’t provided any towing specs, with it being a truck after all, as I’m sure towing is going to be high on the list desired features for potential buys. However, what makes the lack of towing specifications even stranger is GMC shows an ICE truck towing an Airstream trailer in their first promotional video of the Hummer EV?!
If the Hummer EV really is going to be an ‘Electric Super Truck’ as GMC claims, surely it needs to compete against and presumably beat other electric trucks we know are coming to market? Therefore, its reasonable to presume GMC intends the Hummer EV to exceed the 14,500 lb towing capacity of the Tri-Motor Tesla Cybertruck. Looking at the size of the Hummer EV, its weight/air suspension and huge power/torque figures (we’re going to look at those more below), its likely fully capable of towing in excess of 14,500 lbs.
My Hummer EV Towing Concerns
However, there are a couple of concerns I’ve got about the practicalities of the towing with the Hummer EV. For instance, as others have commented, all Hummers, including this one, have the aerodynamics of a brick. And as people are going to quickly learn when it comes to towing with an EV, aerodynamics matter. Not just for the electric tow car/truck, but for the trailer as well. It may turn out, that the aerodynamics of the car/truck/trailer impact towing range more than the total weight of the outfit.
My second concern is the stated range figures provided by GMC. First off, these are their own estimates, not EPA estimates. Now, its possible that GMC is being over-optimistic on these figures, then again, they may be pretty accurate. We just don’t know, because we don’t know how GMC calculated the estimated range figures. What we do know is, previously when manufacturers have stated MPG/range figures for their vehicles, the real-world results are not comparable.
Even if we presume those range figures are accurate, when it comes to towing range its not looking like a particularly good deal for over $100,000 and a towing range likely significantly sub 175 miles. It’s likely GMC would state in response, ‘but you can charge up to 350kW!’. While that may be technically true, the problem with that is where? GM doesn’t have their own charging network like Tesla does, so Hummer EV owners will be dependant on third-party charging networks. And 350kW chargers are not going to be easy to find for several years to come.
Hummer EV Launch Event Reactions
While I have my own concerns related to the real-world towing practicalities of the Hummer EV, there are several features about the truck I do like. The styling for me personally is pretty good. Then again, I like how the Cybertruck looks, so you may not put much value in my opinion on the looks of the Hummer EV which is fair enough. I also really like the air suspension and the 4 wheel steer/crab function which I think also has utility when towing in some scenarios.
I’ve watched quite a few videos of my favourite YouTuber’s thoughts on the event, and I think its worth sharing their thoughts/opinions. First up is Zack from JerryRigEverything who was actually at the Hummer EV reveal event.
I must admit, I’m not quite sure why GMC appears to have gone with a moon lander inspired interior/infotainment menu. It’s not that I don’t like it, I’m just not sure what the connection is between the Moon and GMC/Hummer, though that might be my ignorance. As GMC is obviously trying to compete with Tesla and the Cybertruck, the first thing I imagined was the GMC design/marketing departments going ‘Well Elon has Spacex, let’s throw in some Moon stuff!’
Update: So it was my ignorance. GM along with Boeing helped to develop the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), also commonly known as the ‘Moon Buggie’.
Now, when it comes to cars/trucks I like to know the detail. It could reasonably be said I like to get a bit nerdy on specs. But luckily I’m not the only one, and one of my other favourite YouTuber’s also visited the Hummer EV launch event and has provided some insightful feedback about the size of the battery pack in the Hummer EV (over 200kW) and clears up those crazy high torque figures which GMC have quoted for the Hummer EV.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that an ‘Electric Super Truck’ needs a super battery, but I was surprised to find out its in excess of 200kW! Doing ‘his thing’ Jason calculates the battery pack on the Hummer EV to be between 202 and 219kW. That is simply massive and significantly larger than the 100kw or so you currently find inside a Tesla Model X for instance.
Jason also explains the difference between motor torque and wheel torque, with the figures quoted by GMC being wheel torque. In other words, wheel torque is factoring in gearing ratios to produce a much higher and more impressive figure. Hence, while the wheel torque of the Hummer EV Edition 1 may very well be 11,500 lb-ft, the actual torque output from the electric motors is likely closer to 1,000 lb-ft.
That 1,000 lb-ft is still a huge torque figure that pretty much all internal combustion cars/trucks can only dream of. Therefore, I don’t really see why manufacturers (including Tesla) feel the need to state wheel torque figures instead which confuses people!?
What Is The Hummer EV’s Competition?
The cheapest variant of the Hummer EV the EV2 will not hit the streets until 2024 according to the GMC timeline. Even then, that model is still priced at just under $80,000. Hence, for several years after the launch of the Hummer EV in late 2021 its going to be $100,000 plus vehicle.
Now, its not as if the Hummer EV will be only electric vehicle around this price point, but which electric vehicles is it actually designed to compete against? I’m not the only one with this question in mind. Ben Sullins who produces some solid content on EV’s and I’ve previously referenced before in my Tesla Model 3 and Model Y posts is also confused on the aims of the Hummer EV.
I know some people are going to reference the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T truck as competition for the GMC Hummer EV, but is that really the case? Both of those vehicles are priced considerably below the Hummer EV. Furthermore, both of those vehicles are stated to have higher range estimates, which should also translate to higher towing range results.
Ben also discusses a potential concern with regards to fast charging the Hummer EV. Its ability to charge at 350kW is only possible on dedicated 800V chargers. Many DC fast chargers are currently designed to operate at 400V and the step-up in voltage can reduce the power input of the charger. I’ll produce some more content on this in the future. But the point is as I’ve previously stated above, dependence on third-party charging networks may bring some future headaches for Hummer EV owners.
I think the Hummer EV does look like a highly capable electric vehicle, I’m just not convinced as yet on its general practicality. For going off-roading/rock climbing the with the air suspension, massive 16″ inches of underbody clearance, 35-37″ wheels and 4 wheel steer/crabwalk etc, sure its going to be extremely capable. But what about day to day activities, what about towing! At this point for the range and price point, I’m just not sure the Hummer EV is going to make a realist electric tow vehicle for all but the shortest journies. I’m concerned that the high-speed aerodynamic drag of the Hummer EV is going to be considerable and dramatically reduce range.
But, time will tell, and until the Hummer EV is actually in the hands of owners and automotive journalists we just won’t know. Though if GMC doesn’t officially state the towing capacity before launch, I don’t think that’s a positive sign for its towing capabilities/viability.