The Best Selling Point for the Electric Hummer? It Will Definitely Exist.
Other electric trucks — even the Tesla Cybertruck — simply aren’t a certainty at this point
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about the battle of the electric trucks. GMC, Tesla, Ford, Rivian, Bollinger, Nikola — they’ve all announced their own take on the EV pickup, a vehicle that has oddly become the holy grail of a seismically shifting auto industry. We even put together a comprehensive breakdown of these trucks all the way back in February 2019. The problem? Over a year and a half later, you still can’t buy one.
We’re getting close, though, and the most recent entry into the race is the Hummer EV, a so-called electric “supertruck” GMC unveiled Tuesday night as a successor to the gas guzzler of yore. By enlisting the help of LeBron James, Karen O and Trent Reznor for the cinematic six-minute unveiling video, thus making the electric Hummer inescapable on social media, General Motors is coming out swinging in the segment.
There are plenty of headline-worthy aspects of the Hummer EV, from the price ($112,595 for the Edition 1 model, reservations for which are already full) to the off-road capability (CrabWalk! Extract Mode!) to, of course, the sheer size (taller, wider and longer than the 2021 Cadillac Escalade that The Verge castigated for its behemoth proportions earlier this week). But the big question on people’s minds is how the 2022 Hummer stacks up against the Tesla Cybertruck, what many consider to be the main competitor. It’s also the wrong question.
Everyone needs to take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture here. GMC and Tesla are not on the same level, and neither are the Hummer EV and the Cybertruck. There’s a Hummer-sized difference here many people are missing.
Yes, the electric Hummer is expensive. Even more expensive than we anticipated. Yes, it’s got a long-drawn-out release plan, with the Edition 1 set for Fall 2021 availability and cheaper models following in 2022, 2023 and 2024 (an SUV version is also on the way). But it’s got a huge selling point that — at least until real evidence proves otherwise — puts it leagues ahead of Tesla, as well as Rivian, Bollinger, Nikola and all the other electric truck newcomers: the Hummer EV will definitely exist. If you put down a fully refundable reservation, you will, without a doubt, be able to buy it in the timeline GMC has laid out.
That’s the benefit of buying a truck produced by General Motors, an automaker that’s been around for more than a century. Comparing them to the newbies is frankly a little embarrassing: we’ve got Nikola, which may not even build its hydrogen-electric Badger truck; Rivian, which has raised gobs of cash but is also plagued by delays; Bollinger, which everyone is rooting for but aren’t certain they can bring their vehicles across the finish line; and Tesla, whose CEO has admitted that if people don’t actually order the 8-bit Cybertruck they will revert to a “fallback strategy” and build a “normal truck.”
To be fair to Tesla fans, the electric-car phenomenon has broken ground on what has been called the Cybertruck factory in Austin, Texas. But as Bloomberg reported earlier this month, that’s not the only thing that will be made there; EV batteries, as well as the Tesla Semi, Roadster and Model Y are set for production at the plant. It’s not like the Cybertruck is already in production — and as we’ve all come to learn, things can change drastically in a year.
At GMC, things cannot change. It’s not like Mary Barra is going around giving interviews about a Hummer EV fallback. There is no fallback. The reason it’s taking legacy companies like them (as well as Ford) so long to get into the electric-pickup fight is that when they announce a vehicle, there is infinitely more pressure to deliver.
We’ve still got a ways to go until you, the EV-curious public, can head to a dealer and test drive an electric pickup for yourself. But if we were to place our bets here and now, we’ll put our money on Tesla in the stock market and on GMC for delivering a consumer-friendly truck on time.
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