Hybrids & Electrics

The Electric Hummer Shares This With the Tesla Cybertruck

Potentially lawsuit-inspiring grille aside, specific details on the upcoming GMC Hummer electric truck have been relatively sparse. But we don’t have to wait until Fast and Furious 9 for more info. At a recent presentation to GMC dealers, GM President Mark Reuss revealed some new information about the electric Hummer. And it appears the Hummer pickup might have something in common with the Tesla Cybertruck.

The new electric Hummer information

Automotive News Europe reported on the GMC presentation, held on February 5, 2020. During the presentation, Reuss said the electric Hummer truck would be available in one of three powertrain configurations.

Tesla Cybertruck rear
Tesla Cybertruck rear | Tesla

Like the Tesla Cybertruck, the GMC Hummer would offer customers a choice between 1, 2, and 3 electric motors. Reuss said these motor options would offer “different ranges, different performance at different price points to meet the customers’ needs whatever they may be.”

Both Automotive News Europe and Autoweek figure the three-motor model will be the one to offer the 1000 hp and 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque advertised in GMC’s teasers. And, as with the Cybertruck, it lets GMC cater both to customers who prefer high-performance luxury, and customers with smaller budgets to value range.

2021 Bollinger B2
2021 Bollinger B2 | Bollinger

Considering the electric Hummer, like the Bollinger B2, will be intended as an off-roader, it’s likely that even the one-motor model will have four-wheel drive. But how exactly that will work remains to be seen.

The 4WD system, and what we still don’t know

Rivian R1T
Rivian R1T | Rivian

Usually, EVs with multiple motors tend to have either 2 or 4. For example, the Rivian R1T and Drako GTE have 4 motors: one at each wheel hub. The Porsche Taycan, B2, and Tesla Model X, however, have two: one for each axle. But, having an odd number of electric motors presents a packaging problem.

Porsche Taycan Turbo cutaway
Porsche Taycan Turbo cutaway | Porsche

It’s possible, Autoweek muses, that the 3-motor Cybertruck and Hummer will have two hub motors and one axle motor. But with 1 motor, offering 4WD will likely mean having a differential linked to an axle motor. This isn’t unheard-of for an EV: the Porsche Taycan, Jalopnik reports, has a limited-slip rear differential.

But, although the Taycan uses multiple transmissions, it has all-wheel drive, not 4WD. And even with ‘only’ AWD, the Taycan isn’t exactly the role-model for efficiency. If GMC wanted to offer the Hummer with a proper transfer-case, this would add additional weight, and further lower energy efficiency.

At the moment, GM has not revealed any information about the electric Hummer’s range or weight. The automaker has also not released official pricing.

Is the electric Hummer a Tesla Cybertruck competitor?

Tesla Cybertruck
Tesla Cybertruck | Tesla

It’s difficult to compare the electric Hummer directly to the Tesla Cybertruck, as we don’t know range or pricing. It’s also possible that, with how the Cybertruck’s designed, it may in a different vehicle class than the Hummer. Meaning, the two may not directly compete at all. Then again, if the new Hummer weighs enough, that would make things different.

Electric GMC Hummer
Electric GMC Hummer | Road & Track via Instagram

The two trucks are also designed with different goals in mind. The Tesla Cybertruck doesn’t look like any truck on the road. Meanwhile, the GMC Hummer calls back to Hummers of the past. But, perhaps this is GM’s way of tempting potential Cybertruck buyers away from Tesla, by offering a more ‘traditional’ choice.

What’s old is new again, huh?

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