In the last year, General Motors has officially announced the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup, revealed it with some details, and even had a major Super Bowl commercial to show it off. The rebirth of the Hummer has been fascinating, particularly since it was a legendary gas-guzzler of an SUV that has become an all-electric “super truck.” I’m sure you’ve seen Will Ferrell talk about the all-new Hummer, and you’ve probably seen videos of it navigating all sorts of rough, off-road terrain.
Today, I’m going to take you through the GMC Hummer EV Pickup (that’s an important distinction because an SUV version is on the way) by the numbers, literally. We’re going to look at some of the specs that are quantitative to see what they have to offer. Yes, that means there’s going to be numbers and math – no wait, come back! Trust me, this is going to be worth it, and if you’re at all interested in what the Hummer EV truck has to offer, you should know this.
GMC Hummer Numbers: Horsepower
Pretty much every vehicle out there is advertised with its manufacturer bragging about its horsepower – especially if it’s a sports car or truck. We could be here a long time exploring the origins of this term, but I’m going to keep it simple and give you a brief version of it. Back in the 1700s, a Scottish inventor and engineer named James Watt was hard at work developing and selling powerful steam engines. He was doing his best to get farmers, brewers, and pretty much everyone else he could find to buy a steam engine – usually to replace their workhorses.
In order to demonstrate that his engines could effectively replace their horses, Watt took it upon himself to determine exactly how much work a horse could do. I’m not going to take you through the math (you’re welcome), but he determined that a horse could do about 33,000 foot-pounds (that’s how energy can be measured) of work in one minute. In other words, a horse can move 33 pounds a distance of 1,000 feet over the course of a minute.
This has been calculated and re-calculated numerous times, and while it’s not 100% accurate, it’s seen as a good enough average for a horse working in a reasonable way, not over-exerting itself. So 1 horsepower is the equivalent of this 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute. Did you need to know all of that? Probably not, but it’s interesting, right!?
Anyways, according to GM, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup gets an estimated 1,000 horsepower with its most powerful motor setup. The first wave of Hummer models will feature a three-motor configuration delivering all of this power, though future models will have options for lower power at a reduced price. No matter how you look at it, however, that’s an impressive amount of power coming from this EV model. With some of the competitor EV trucks making three-motor configurations an available option, at best, it’s nice to see GMC come right out the gate with it.
GMC Hummer Numbers: Torque
Here’s where things get a bit weird for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup and where our look at simple numbers kind of goes off the rails. According to GM’s advertising and their own website for the Hummer EV, its motors deliver 11,500 lb-ft of torque. Why is that problematic? By comparison, the 2021 Chevy Silverado 3500 HD, which is a heavy-duty pickup, features a 6.6L V8 Turbo-Diesel engine for massive towing potential that delivers 910 lb-ft of torque.
You didn’t misread that, and I didn’t forget a number there – the pinnacle of Chevy diesel performance offers 910 lb-ft of torque, and the GMC Hummer EV Pickup is supposedly going to enjoy more than 10x that amount. So what’s going on here? To get to the bottom of this, you need to understand how torque works and a little something called “gear ratio.”
Torque is a measurement of rotational force, in general. When looking at cars, what you’re really looking at is the kind of force created by the engine that allows the axles to rotate, making the tires spin. This is very important for moving and specifically is vital when you first begin to accelerate from a stop, when you speed up on a freeway on-ramp, when you’re going uphill, and when you’re towing a bunch of weight behind you.
Within the auto industry, torque is traditionally measured at the engine itself – the 910 lb-ft of torque in the Silverado 3500 HD above is what the engine produces. But the wheels receive a lot more force thanks to something called “gear ratio.” Your vehicle uses gears to transfer that rotational force from one part of the vehicle to another; by sending that force from a larger gear to a smaller gear, you can actually greatly increase the amount of torque being utilized. Gear ratio indicates this difference in size – if you go from 2:1 (a gear that’s twice the size of the smaller gear), you’re basically doubling the amount of torque.
This is why a lot of people think that this 11,500 lb-ft of torque figure is being measured at the wheels, not at the engine. So thanks to a gear ratio of somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 to 16 (we’re not quite sure what it is yet for the Hummer), the actual engine torque is probably more in the 800 lb-ft range. It could actually be more than that, but since the only number we have from GM right now is a bit, shall-we-say, bloated, it’s hard to tell for sure.
GMC Hummer Numbers: Range
Next up, there’s the range that GM says the Hummer EV Pickup will get from a full charge, which is up to 350 miles. This is with a full charge, and again, it’s for the initial model with three motors – we could see different numbers in the future as more versions of the Hummer EV become available. Still, 350 miles of range is excellent, especially with DC Fast Charging support that will make it easy to charge the Hummer EV while stopping for a meal or to stretch your legs on a long road trip.
Now here’s the rub: that’s in a perfect world and in ideal conditions. Everyone knows one of the best reasons to choose a truck is to be able to load it up with a bunch of stuff or strap it to a trailer and do some towing. At the moment, none of the range figures available go into how towing or a lot of cargo weight will impact the Hummer EV Pickup’s range, but it definitely will. This is probably going to require some real-world testing, and a lot of people are curious to see how the upcoming slate of EV trucks perform in terms of towing and their range.
GMC Hummer Numbers: Towing and Payload
Speaking of towing, how does the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup compare to other models on the horizon? I have no idea. So far, GM has not released any information about what its towing capacity or payload capabilities will be. There are some pretty safe estimates being made – a lot of people expect something around 9,000 pounds of towing and 2,500 pounds of payload – but there are no real numbers to go off of here.
What Does This All Mean?
As you can see, the numbers for the GMC Hummer EV Pickup definitely look great. It has excellent horsepower from three motors, standard, and even if you look through the problematic torque numbers they’re bragging about, the actual torque is still going to be excellent. Its range is impressive, but it would be nice if there was a bit less marketing going on and a bit more real-world talk about its towing, payload, and how those will impact its range in a real way. Of course, once you look at all of its features, then the Hummer EV becomes even more impressive, but purely by the numbers, everything is adding up to equal an exciting experience.