Engineering Explained's Jason Fenske Feels Torn About the Hummer EV

Andrew Koole
Updated on May 13, 2022 · 3 min read
Hummer doesn’t exactly have an eco-friendly history. Until October 2020, the military vehicle turned civilian rock-crawler was a symbol of the auto industry’s devil-may-care attitude toward climate change in all its forms.
GMC decided to resurrect the brand to introduce its EV future, but since it started reaching consumers this past winter, the new plug-in version has been getting mixed reviews about how green it really is.
That said, the giant EV’s off-road capabilities are impressive, to say the least. Its high-caliber performance and jaw-dropping weight left Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained unsure of his feelings toward the “bank volt” of an SUV. Jerry the car ownership super app explains.

The Hummer EV’s not-so-green electric powertrain

Obviously, the Hummer EV is a huge upgrade from the vehicle’s gas-guzzling predecessor. But compared to other electric vehicles, the SUV’s carbon footprint still packs a less-than-savory punch.
The most carbon-intensive part of any EV is its battery. Lithium-ion batteries consist of precious metals, the extraction of which leaves quite a mark on our planet. 
And while many EV makers spend millions to clean up battery production, GMC went ahead and put a 2,900 lbs unit in the Hummer
Lugging all that weight around only adds to the impact that nickel, cobalt, and graphite make on the environment.

No one can touch the Hummer EV’s off-road action

The Hummer EV’s weight might make it more like a tank than a Tesla, but its tech features bring off-roading into a whole new era. 
Fenske says drive-modes like “terrain” and “off-road” offer surprisingly functional support, but the EV’s most impressive innovation is its rear-turning capabilities and ‘Crab Walk” feature
When engaged, the four-wheel turn cuts the Hummer EV’s turning circle by 7.2 feet, giving it a Honda Civic-level radius of 37.1 feet rather than 44-plus foot circles of competitors like the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Raptor.
Fenske also praised the vehicle’s optional one-pedal driving mode and its regenerative braking, which outdoes any other electric vehicle.

Who is the Hummer EV for?

As its name suggests, the Hummer EV is a rolling contradiction. In a segment whose primary focus is saving the planet, it’s the least energy-efficient electric model. And at a starting price of over $110,000, it’s not helping the average price of an electric vehicle get any lower, either. 
But when it comes to maneuvering through unpredictable terrain, the Hummer EV is untouchable. Anyone with deep pockets looking for a new toy that uses way less CO2 than competing rock-crawlers still burning dinosaurs for fuel can’t go wrong with a Hummer EV.

Expensive cars mean expensive car insurance

Like its starting price, the average car insurance for a Hummer EV is very high. But you can save hundreds on coverage every year by shopping with Jerry. 
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