The Hummer has always been a marvel of a vehicle owing to its massive size and appearance. General Motors had discontinued the combustion version of this hunk, because of environmental concerns. However, earlier this year, the American company announced that they are bringing an electric Hummer in 2022. An electric pickup truck will hit the markets first, and an electric SUV will soon follow. While the range and unique features, like the crab walk, make the Hummer a vehicle to look forward to, the electric version will still most definitely be a beast.
Hummer EV Safety Concerns: 1000 HP & 0-60 MPH in 3 Seconds is Scarier For 10k lbs Vehicle
Hummer Electric Pickup Truck Weighs Over 4000 Kg
According to GMC, the company’s first pickup truck will weigh 9046 pounds (4103 kg). That’s a massive figure in itself. If you then remember that GMC is designing the Hummer pickup as a light-duty truck, it’s even crazier. For reference, a 2022 GMC Sierra 3500HD with a crew cab, dual rear wheels, and the LP5 Duramax Diesel only tips the scales at 8355lbs. Yes, you read that right. The HUMMER EV will weigh more than a heavy-duty dually pickup.
While one cannot confirm this, but this weight is most probably due to the heavy Ultium battery system. When Cadillac unveiled the Lyriq, they announced that it will weigh over 5,600 pounds (2540 kg) with around half the battery modules as the Hummer.
When GMC revealed the specs for the Hummer, they had specifically highlighted the acceleration timings, something which is becoming a new standard for electric vehicles. GMC Spokesperson Mikhael Farah had said:
The GMC HUMMER EV – the world’s first all-electric super truck – has unmatched super capabilities, all in a zero emissions package. With specs like 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb.-ft. of torque and a blistering 0-60mph time of 3-seconds, the GMC HUMMER EV Pickup is bound to shatter expectations of what an electric vehicle can do.
The Weight and Acceleration Combination Raises Safety Concerns
In the United States, a driver with a regular license can drive vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds (4536 kg). This means that any new driver can get his/her hands on this Hummer. What happens when something goes wrong with a car that weighs over 4000 kg with that kind of acceleration capability? This is even scarier if it is a new electric vehicle driver. We have already seen that experienced combustion vehicle drivers can find the instant torque of an EV difficult to tackle.
The Hummer will have an output of 1000 horsepower and combined with 4000+kg of mass, it will definitely be difficult to control. Driver training in the USA is already pretty thin.
What do the Experts Say?
Without appropriate advanced safety features, this vehicle could easily turn into a hazard, according to Jason Levine, the executive director at the Center for Auto Safety. Joseph Young, director of media relations at IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety), fears that the high performance of the Hummer EV will invite its owners to drive faster than they should. According to Young:
Driving at a higher speed makes a crash more likely partly because you have less time to react, and given the reported weight of the vehicle, the time required to react and get the vehicle to a stop may be longer than a lighter car.
Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said that the mass alone might not be an issue. GMC just needs to take the right approach with the Hummer EV.
Heavier vehicles don’t necessarily have longer braking distances as long as companies equip them with sufficient brakes and tires. The additional weight gives more momentum to stop, but also increases friction from the road due to weight. Those forces cancel out as long as the tires are capable of sufficient grip.
Fisher mentioned that they saw this in Tesla Model X. Despite weighing more than twice of what Nissan Versa weighs, the Tesla stops earlier. Fisher also clarified the Hummer situation, saying that a lot depends on the weight distribution. If the mass is distributed more towards the front or rear of the vehicle, it makes it hard to turn quickly. A top-heavy vehicle is prone to body lean while making turns.
However, one of the advantages that electric vehicles have is the low center of gravity. Most of the mass goes into the battery pack, and the battery pack is centrally located at a lower height. Hence, it offers more stability.
GM has already set a list of standard safety features that the Hummer should have. They include pedestrian safety signal and automated external sound generator at low speeds to alert pedestrians of vehicle presence. Other features include:
- Front Pedestrian Braking
- Rear Pedestrian Alert
- Rear Cross-Traffic Braking
- Enhanced Automatic Parking Assist (includes semi-automatic steering, applying limited braking, as well as shifting gears into a detected parallel or perpendicular parking space)
- Trailer Side Blind Zone Alert
- Following Distance Indicator
- Forward Collision Alert
- IntelliBeam (automatic high beam on/off)
- Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking
- Reverse Automatic Braking
- sensor indicator and traffic sign recognition
- Safety Alert Seat
- Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
The $80,000 price tag may ensure that quite a few people buy this beast of a vehicle. But it will be the other people on the roads who will hope that GM develops amazing brakes and electronic safeguards, along with remarkable tires to keep everyone safe.