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? 7,500 lbs, so we’ll look at how that compares to the competition.
Key GMC Hummer EV Specs
- Official Towing Capacity – 7,500 lbs
- Availability – Edition 1 from late 2021
- Price – Starting $79,995 (EV2) > $112,595 (Edition 1)
- GMC Range Estimates – 250+ miles (EV2) > 329 miles (Edition 1)
- Estimate Towing Range (50%) – 125 miles (EV2) > 165 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, not exactly, at 7,500 lbs that’s only comparable to a mid-sized truck. I don’t think anyone can reasonably argue that towing capacity lives up the ‘Super Truck’ branding by GMC.
When the Hummer EV was first unveiled I found it odd in and of its self that GMC didn’t provide any towing specs. With it being a truck after all, as I’m sure towing is going to be high on the list of desired features for potential buys.
However, what made the lack of towing specifications even stranger was GMC showed an ICE truck towing an Airstream trailer in their first promotional video of the Hummer EV?!
Well, now we know the towing capacity of the Hummer EV to be 7,500lbs we know why it wasn’t shown towing the Airstream RV in the promotional video above because that trailer weighs a lot more than 7,500lbs.
Granted, the Hummer EV is only the second electric truck to market with delivery to customers which started in December 2021 just shortly after the Rivian R1T. I’ll discuss below how the Hummer EV compares to its electric truck completion when it comes to towing and importantly range.
My Hummer EV Towing Concerns
Besides the relatively low towing capacity of the Hummer EV, there are a couple of other 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 aerodynamic qualities 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. Due to the size of the Hummer EV is falls outside of the EPA criteria, and it apparently won’t get an official EPA range rating.
Therefore, we are left with the 329-mile range prediction from GMC. What concerns me is GMC originally stated the range would be over 350 miles.
Even if we presume the official GMC range figure is 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 165 miles. It’s likely GMC would state in response, ‘but you can rapid charge at 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 100kWh 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 a $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.
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. They will also both tow significantly more than 7,500 lbs.
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.
My Thoughts On The GMC Hummer EV….
I think the Hummer EV does look like a highly capable electric vehicle. For going off-roading/rock climbing with the air suspension, massive 16″ inches of underbody clearance, 35-37″ wheels and 4 wheel steer/crabwalk etc, sure its extremely capable.
However, what about day to day activities, what about towing! At this point for the towing capacity, 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 who are sharing their feedback we just don’t know.