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The 2022 GMC Hummer EV isn’t light, but it’s an agent of change

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is by no means a performance exemplar.

In recent weeks, EPA certification documents have been made available to Hummer EVand they give exact numbers on what we already know is the size, capacity and consumption of this large electric truck.

That has yielded another very important set of reviews of the Hummer EV — with some redress on the point that it was a complete waste. The more we know, the easier it is for green cars and electric vehicle enthusiasts to belittle this GM “electric supercar,” weighing more than 9,000 pounds, as an analogy of all that is wrong. with electric cars.

I will look at carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. But first, with the focus back, if you just focus on the weight and waste of the Hummer EV compared to other EVs, you’re missing the point. Here are some arguments for why the Hummer EV really does create some green feeling even though it’s overdone.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

It will always be a low volume pattern. GM has hinted that the GMC Hummer EV is not a mass-market vehicle. That is Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV will come in larger volumes. And it is reasonable to assume that they will be significantly more efficient.

It’s a “car poster.” Do you have a Ferrari on your bedroom wall? A ZR1? A Raptor? Poster cars are always superfluous, and the Hummer EV is no exception. Isn’t it better to aspire to an electric truck?

It attracts the “brodozer” crowd. Crucially, the Hummer EV looks even more viable than its gas-guzzling predecessors. As a result, it is launching a ground assault to sway opinion about electric vehicles to those who might be hardest to convince. For those who see the kings of the road as heavy duty diesel pickup with exhaust eliminator for increased performance and comfort without harming emissions, and rolling coals on the road, we think the Hummer EV offers the best appeal. You won’t find the right tone of a Tesla Cybertruck or one Rivian R1T; it’s a Hummer.

Nearly each means a truck with less gas. It does not replace more efficient electric cars. GMC has made it clear that the Hummer EV is aimed at truck enthusiasts—Includes a full line of accessories designed to match the vehicle.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

So why is the Hummer EV better for the planet than a gas truck?

First, let’s get over the shock and awe of the numbers. The latest round of certification documents has revealed some key stats about the battery pack — itself weighing 2,923 pounds, with a respectable specific energy of 158 watt-hours per kilogram. Furthermore, the two-tier package has a total listed battery volume of 1,012.5 liters – space for more than ten of the typical 26-gallon fuel tanks for full-size trucks.

In other words, the Hummer EV has a total battery capacity of ten times the total capacity of an original Nissan Leaf. And the battery pack in the new GMC Hummer EV alone weighs more than a complete 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid sedan.

Would you like to be seen in either of those eco-warriors? This is indirectly the whole argument of GM.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

In the certification summary, the battery’s energy capacity is listed at 617 wh, with a pack voltage of 400 volts — indicating a total battery capacity of close to 247 kWh.

Usable capacity, based on previous calculations, is expected to be around 213 kWh. The EPA claims to have put 234.17 kwh of “event-charged” into the Hummer EV — a number that includes any losses at the onboard charger and tends to be about 10% larger than the rated capacity. usable. So it reinforces that GM’s real range of uses is still in this ballpark – larger than the “about 200 kWh” the company originally indicated.

Lifecycle CO2 emissions are less than that of a compact car. Really.

The napkin math on the Hummer EV’s suspected carbon footprint compared to other EVs looks tough. At its EPA range of 329 miles and 213 kwh, it gets just over 1.5 miles per kwh—nearly a third the Lucid Air Grand Touring’s 4.6 mi/kwh performance. Plus, it yields about twice the raw material to pack the precious batteries of other long-range EVs to date.

In an operational sense, an electric vehicle is as clean as the power you plug it in. So the Union of Concerned Scientists has long studied carbon emissions over the lifetime of electric versus internal combustion vehicles, incorporating information about the nation’s electricity production mix.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

Based on the organization’s last update on comparative ICE EV and mpg emissions, David Reichmuth, senior engineer for the UCS Clean Transportation Program, estimates that the Hummer EV is nearly half as efficient as Average EV in his calculations. It is therefore equivalent – in a very “generic” sense – of a 67 mpg petrol car in California or a 46 mpg car across the US.

Or, in Michigan, where the Hummer EV is made, it could be the equivalent of a 27 mpg petrol car.

The F-150 Lightning is much more efficient than the Hummer EV — with a range of up to 300 miles from 131 kwh. Last year, Reichmuth’s analysis suggested that Lightning is equivalent to a gasoline car 85 mpg on a CO2 footprint, with 70% of the US population living where an electric truck will produce less than half the GHG emissions of the petrol version.

From cradle to grave: The net is much cleaner than counting

That’s just the consumption and usage aspect — including generation and distribution losses. The Hummer EV also takes more energy and resources to build — especially its battery pack. One year 2018 paper by the International Council on Clean Transport, compiled a series of academic studies on the impact of battery manufacturing on greenhouse gas emissions over the lifecycle of electric vehicles. It is estimated that a battery pack larger than 50% will increase the CO2 over the life of the vehicle by 18%.

When taking a closer look at 2015 production emissions, UCS found that it only takes 6 to 18 months of typical driving to offset the additional emissions during production for electric vehicles. Recently study from the University of Michigan and Ford claim a breakeven time of just 1.3 years for pickups based on average vehicle mileage.

The Ford-backed Michigan study claims to include end-to-end assessments, but it’s unclear what that looks like upstream in the supply chain — rare earth sourcing, for example. Accordingly, sedans, SUVs and pickup trucks have about 64% lower greenhouse gas emissions than equivalent gasoline vehicles. It also concluded that replacing an ICE pickup with an electric one would save the most CO2 over its lifetime compared to other vehicles — the equivalent of 74 tons.

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

2022 Ford F-150 Lightning Pro

Back to the usage aspect, it should be noted that the nation’s electricity grid is being cleaned up rapidly. UCS notes that between 2018 and 2021, their estimates for emissions related to electric vehicle use are about 15% lower.

“If that’s the vehicle in demand and you’re switching from gas to electric, that’s a net saving,” says Reichmuth, noting that even if you’re switching from a Honda Fit to a Ford F-150 Lightning ( or, yes, a Hummer) will save some CO2 — albeit less than if you switched to a Tesla Model 3.

Will practicality prevail anyway?

And that leads to a very important point: The Hummer EV, which is only in some tense starting points in the garage and performance car goals, pretty much guarantees that it will remain a niche model.

“Most people will want and need something smaller in their garage,” says Reichmuth. “I think it’s more important to make sure there are these popular vehicles — whether it’s cars or the small crossover SUVs that are the most popular segment on the market. Electrification is much more of a concern than this kind of volume excess. “

Reichmuth emphasizes that put simply, you get the most efficient and least-heavy vehicle to suit your needs — and in general they are one and the same. If you need a Ford F-150, and it’s the vehicle it needs, that’s a huge net saving for the planet to go electric — and encourage your friends in F-150s to do the same. so.

Currently, the giant battery pack is the only market limit for the Hummer EV, Reichmuth says.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

GMC now has lighter, more affordable versions of the Hummer EV — including an SUV, and the base model will come in a smaller package and will cost $79,995, due out in 2024.

Some of those models won’t qualify as heavy-duty trucks like these early versions do — which is likely why GM went ahead and filed a full set of certification documents with the EPA.

And perhaps it helps to illustrate how much more effectively, when you put aside some of the “super-premium” egos, the company can make full-size electric pickups coming soon. GM deserves some of the flak it’s getting beyond the sheer impracticalities of the Hummer EV’s size and weight. But that’s not exactly the point that going where no EV has gone before is definitely a good thing.

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