GMC just launched its Hummer EV, and immediately people started comparing it to the Tesla Cybertruck. But these conversations – since neither truck actually exists at the moment – hit various levels of surreality for me. It’s of like comparing Iron Man to Batman – not only are they both fictitious, but they also exist in different comic universes.
But I digress.
Since the conversations are happening, I figure it might be interesting to give some stats and (in some cases) estimations to feed the fire. Both trucks will exist. Eventually. Probably.
Though we put more store behind GMC coming to market for real – and much faster than – any fantastical Cybertruck because the infrastructure to build the Hummer EV already exists in the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant that is currently being re-tooled to be Factory Zero.
Both GMC and Tesla have been a bit secretive with some of the specs for their trucks, though GMC went heavy on its off-road stats, and Tesla pumped up its towing and payload stats – both without corresponding numbers from its competitor.
Because Tesla has been particularly mum on its power specs for the Cybertruck, which makes sense because it isn’t real yet, we consulted the Google, and used some Motor Trend estimations, which is noted in the chart (source: MT).
So, here’s the skinny (very skinny) on what we know of GMC Hummer EV Supertruck vs Tesla Cybertruck.
|GMC Hummer EV||Tesla Cybertruck|
|Weirdest feature||CrabWalk, which allows the truck to drive diagonally at low speeds||Bulletproof exoskeleton|
|Coolest feature||Underbody cameras that act as virtual spotters when driving over obstacles||Transparent roof|
|Max horsepower||1,000||800 estimated (Source: MT)|
|Max torque||11,500||1,000 estimated (Source: MT)|
|0-60 (top tier)||3 seconds||2.9 seconds|
|Electric motors (top tier)||3||3|
|Launch control mode name||Watts to Freedom||Ludicrous (probably)|
|Max towing (top tier)||n/a||14,000 pounds|
|Max payload (top tier)||n/a||3,500 pounds|
|Bed length:||n/a||6.5 feet|
|Infotainment screen size||13.4 inches||17 inches|
|Self-driving tech||Super Cruise||Autopilot|
|Estimated max range (top tier)||350+ miles||500 + miles|
|Fast charge claim||100 miles of range in 10 minutes||n/a|
|Drivetrain (top tier)||e4WD||tri-motor AWD (base RWD)|
|Max ground clearance (in.):||10.1 inches (15.9 inches in Extract Mode)||16 inches|
|Approach angle (deg.):||41.5 inches||35 inches|
|Departure angle (deg.):||31.6 inches||28 inches|
|Water fording depth (in.):||26 inches||n/a|
|Built in||Detroit, MI||Austin, TX|
|Available||Fall 2021||"late" 2021, which probably means 2022|
There’s clearly a lot of interest in the Tesla because it’s, well, Tesla. Then again, I firmly believe Elon Musk could take the Pontiac Aztek, make it electric, add a Tesla badge, and people would think it’s the best thing since sliced bread.
Oh, and let’s at least mention the glaring elephant in the room: The GMC Hummer EV will cost twice as much as the Tesla Cybertruck, base to base. Gulp.
So, Supertruck, Cybertruck, toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe. Everyone has an opinion about these trucks, and whether they love ’em or hate ’em, one thing is certain: Neither will be your typical take-’em-to-a-work-site pickup.
They’re both heavy on the kitsch with a lifestyle bent, though the Hummer EV at least looks like something resembling a truck. We’ll be curious to watch the EV truck wars as they evolve – at some point.
I think these will be both amazing trucks in their own right. As a Tesla fan I’m inclined, like others, to hate on other EV’s I’ll try to refrain.
What I will say is *why* I’m still attracted to the CT even though the Hummer EV will admittedly be a better off-roader. (by off-roader I mean trails and rock crawling where the extra locker, shorter length, and far superior quad-steer-enabled turning radius will come in handy.
Here’s why: the CT will feature under-appreciated innovations. It’s monocoque and structural battery pack will, based on my research, make it *much* lighter than the Hummer. The monocoque and battery provide rigidity that will allow for *extremely* lightweight front and rear castings. Like I think the 500 mile version will be 1,000 lbs lighter than the 350-mile top-tier Hummer. The CT will have a pack in which the *cells themselves* will become a structural member.
The pack will also be a single-stack versus the Hummer double-stack. I estimate, based on EE’s YT video, the Hummer pack is 12’+ thick. The CT pack, based on battery-day, will be 5″ thick. TOPS. In an inverview with TFL a product architect of the hummer admitted they had to sacrifice overall passenger cabin height to make space for the battery while still maintaining 16″ ground clearance. The Hummer will be uncomfortable to sit in, espeically in the back row. Your knees will be “in your chest” so to speak. The CT will feature better cabin comfort, and a *significantly* lower center of gravity while maintaining the same gound clearance as the Hummer.
Tesla told Motor Trend the pack is double stack. The said the tonneau prevented the pack extending beyond the rear window. They lied, the tonneau clearly rolls up inside the protrusion just below the rear window, allowing the pack to extend back to the rear motor unit, as in every Tesla. They also said their Roadster would have a double stack. They were lying. This was before the 4680 cell and structural pack were revealed and they had to spout that BS to protect that unrevealed secret.
This weight superiority will result in the CT being a great racing/baja truck and will allow for superior endurance at high outputs. It allows for a 6.5ft bed and super cab within the same footpring of the 5.5′ ford supercab.
The Hummer has battery chemistry and architecture from 2015. The pack is drummed up as “serviceable”. I suppose that’s a plus, it comes at the cost of every other parameter and might point to GM being less confident it can sustain warranties for entire battery packs. Apparently Tesla has no qualms about guaranteeing an un-seviceable pack for 8 years/120k miles. The CT batteries are more environmentally friendly, will source local lithium, and will have ZERO cobalt (no child labor)
With no paint and a 100% stainless/aluminum construction the CT will last for a long time. If features the same cells that will go into the semi: they will last 1M miles and have industry-best density.
The “spartan” interior = more environmentally friendly. Minimal plastics and a dash based on recycled paper vs extensive interior plastic on the hummer. 1 screen. The unconventional “triangle” design will make it the most aerodynamic and efficient full size truck on the market. efficient = environmentally friendly. Aelon windshield that will never crack or chip and is inherently hydrophobic = environmentally friendly.
If you want to rock craw like no stock vehicle every sold and look conventional: get the Hummer. If you want a product that’s better in EVERY other quantifiable way (not to mention price) get the CT.
Good analysis Mark. The problem I have with Tesla is they are known to overpromise and under deliver. I would be shocked if they delivered on all their cybertruck claims at that price point. Also I really can’t get past Tesla’s known poor build quality.
CR took Teslas off the recommended list for a while due to “reliability” issues. Read: trim fit and finish issues. They eventually recommended them again, and in the same report admitted they found the model 3 to have stellar battery/powertrain reliability.
So here’s how you “get over” the build quality. If you get a Tesla, get yourself a big long QC checklist. Tesla fans pass them around. Spend a good half an hour on pickup going over all these known issues. Paint issues, poor fitment, etc.
If you are satisfied: accept and you have yourself a well-built and reliable state-of-the-art EV. Dissatisfied, reject.
It’s unacceptable to have to do QC on your own vehicle, but to me it’s a small price to pay for the latest-and-greatest.
A separate report (JD power I believe?) ranked Tesla terribly on reliability. They included *confusion over infotainment features* under reliability. Can you imagine rating an iphone as “unreliable” because you couldn’t figure out how to change the background?
Another, more recent report, put Tesla AP behind Supercruise. The reason: no facial recognition to control driver attention. In other words: you have more freedom in a Tesla. And no mention of FSD features.
Anywho as you can tell I’m a big fan. Just love ’em. Nothing like ’em.
I’m surprised GMC did not advertise any plugs in the bed of the truck for power tools. Seems to me like that would be a big reason to get an EV truck. Part of what makes this such a tough comparison is GM can actually build this while who knows what Tesla will build? I would be surprised if tesla could deliver on half of their claims.
Interesting observation about the plugs. I’m sure they’ll add that option, it’s essential and needed for off-roaders to charge each other if stranded.
I don’t know why you doubt Tesla. Tesla overpromises on TWO parameters: timeline for products, and self-driving progress.
That’s literally it. Outsides of these two things every parameter ever promised has been delivered on every Tesla. For years people doubted the Roadster/Semi was possible. Now the new battery cells are revealed, and they suddenly seem possible.
The roadster/semi will be 5 years late. Maybe the Cybertruck will be 5 years late. But Tesla will deliver. They only promise specs when the tech is proven, and they have the unlimited backing of capital markets to make it happen.
GM, on the other hand, will deliver on time. Of course.
Mark, I hope Tesla proves me wrong as the market really needs some good EV trucks to drive up consumer confidence in electric.
I’m not buying the claim that their truck will tow 14k lbs for any realist distance. And 3,500 lbs of payload it would basically have to be a dually.
I really don’t believe in their pricing structure either. There’s a reason GM’s starts at $80k. That’s what they need to be at to make it profitable. No way Tesla can profitably make a $40k version. The model X is like double that and more! We saw what happened with the promised $35k model 3. Took years too long to arrive and it’s not even advertised as it really still is not profitable.