Two big-ass electric trucks are scheduled to hit the streets soon. One is a behemoth of a vehicle from a behemoth of a company, a reanimated revenant of a monster that greenies say “embodies the worst impulses of the auto industry” (doesn’t that sound like fun?). The other is no wimp either, with its bulletproof steel panels and stealth-fighter styling, but it comes from the Disruptor of Detroit, the #1 challenger of the automotive status quo.
The coming face-off promises to provide masses of material for manly metaphors, but for now, let’s take a look at how the GMC Hummer EV and the Tesla Cybertruck compare based on the announced specs. A new video from Roadshow compares the two contenders, with some action footage and plenty of wisecracks.
The two giants are similar in size, although we’re now hearing talk that the Cybertruck may be offered in a smaller version, perhaps for the European market. The Hummer has a five-foot bed; the Cybertruck has a 6.5-foot lockable vault with 100 cubic feet of storage. The Tesla will have at least 7,500 lbs of towing capacity; GMC has not released that figure, but we expect it to be similar.
Both trucks offer adjustable air suspension and generous ground clearance. The Hummer has a couple of interesting new features, including Crab Mode for squeezing through narrow defiles in the backcountry, and Extract Mode, in case you get stuck on a stump. The Hummer may offer an optional 800-volt onboard charger, which should enable faster charging (apparently, the battery pack still runs on 400 volts, as do most EVs, including Teslas).
The Hummer EV features a choice of two or three electric motors. The Cybertruck will be available in Single Motor, Dual Motor and Tri Motor configurations. Each of the Hummer’s motors delivers 250 kW of power, which, in the beefiest variant, adds up to a whopping peak power of 1,000 hp (available only for short spurts) and about 1,000 lb-ft of motor torque (not the same as wheel torque).
Tesla hasn’t released any power or torque figures yet, but it’s probably safe to assume that they’ll be in the same class. Both trucks are meant to offer sports-car-style performance, which means a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds for the Hummer, and as little as 2.9 seconds for the Cybertruck (Tri Motor version).
Above: A look at how these electric trucks from GMC and Tesla stack up against one another (YouTube: Roadshow)
GM says the Hummer will get up to 350 miles of range, whereas Tesla, the ruler of the range, has promised up to 500 miles for the Cybertruck (Tri Motor version). Efficiency is closely connected to range, and while most pickup buyers probably don’t think much about efficiency, EV activists, who are rooting for truck and SUV drivers to go electric, certainly do.
Neither automaker has released an efficiency figure, but it’s probably safe to assume that the Hummer will be the least efficient passenger EV built to date. Teslas, on the other hand, are among the most efficient of EVs, so we expect the Californians to handily beat the Michiganders on that particular metric.
Those who are interested in more technical details about the Hummer should check out a recent video from Engineering Explained.
Both electric leviathans are scheduled to hit the streets in late 2021. Both can be reserved for a $100 deposit. At this point, we have a more complete picture of the Hummer. GM has released a pretty full description of its beast, whereas some important details about the production Cybertruck are yet to be revealed (this is not at all surprising—fast-moving Tesla is famous for its continuous process of revising and upgrading).
The price difference, at least for the base versions, is pretty stark: the Hummer is to start at $79,995, whereas Elon Musk has promised a $39,000 Cybertruck. In both cases, the first deliveries will surely be much pricier, loaded versions, with price tags well into the six-figure range.