There are two new electric pickup trucks set to debut that promise to shake things up. Tesla, /zigman2/quotes/203558040/composite TSLA +2.75% which has disrupted the auto industry with its family of sedans and SUVs, is looking to crack the lucrative truck market with its upcoming Cybertruck. General Motors, /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM +0.60% playing catchup to its upstart rival, brings back the legendary Hummer name on an electric pickup that will sell through its GMC division.
The pair couldn’t look more different. The Cybertruck boasts stainless steel construction and a sharp-edged profile , while the GMC Hummer is a contemporary take on the Hummer H2. What they share in common is that the pickup functionality is secondary to each vehicle’s primary mission. The Cybertruck is to stand out in a crowd and offer blistering performance. The GMC Hummer EV also promises blistering performance but is also meant to be a very serious off-road machine. Here’s how they stack up.
The Tesla Cybertruck is, in a word, striking. Its origami approach to design is more about turning heads than basic functionality. Tesla has built its brand on being different than mainstream vehicles. While Tesla cars and SUVs are understated in their own way, there will be no mistaking a Cybertruck for anything else. While there is some functionality to the cargo area, the Tesla is more about play and less about work.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV reprises the rugged, off-road look Hummer transplanted from military to civilian use. The look of the new EV pays homage to the H2 with its boxy shape, horizontal, slatted grille, and stubby proportions. However, the updated look has a new element in that it has a much more contemporary, adventurous feel. That promise of off-road fun also comes from the Hummer’s ability to remove the roof panels for more of an open-air experience.
The Tesla Cybertruck employs cold-rolled stainless steel for its body panels. While heavier than stamped steel or aluminum, the stainless composition doesn’t need to be painted. This sheen adds to the unique look of the truck. Tesla also touts the ruggedness of its 3 mm thick steel body and claims the glass will be bulletproof.
The Hummer EV uses conventional steel unit-body construction. To protect the EV vitals off-road, there is under-body armor. These steel plates shield the battery pack and other drivetrain components from rugged terrain. This cladding and the stiff structure provided by the battery pack allow the use of a lightweight composite removable roof that features transparent “Sky Roof” panels.
See photos: Take a look at the new electric Hummer
The cab on the Tesla Cybertruck features rear-hinged back doors and seating for up to six. Like all Tesla models, switchgear is non-existent. Instead of a steering wheel, the Cybertruck employs an aircraft-inspired yoke. A 17-inch touchscreen dominates the dash and provides access to all the vehicle systems. Tesla will offer the same Autopilot hands-free driving capability as its other models.
The Hummer EV features seating for five in its 4-door crew cab configuration. The Hummer is an upscale off-roader, so the interior on all models will be lavishly appointed . Among the features, buyers can expect to see a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 13.4-inch center infotainment touchscreen. Standard features include the removable roof panels, high-definition surround vision cameras, rear cabin power drop glass, and premium all-weather floor liners with carpet inserts. The Hummer EV will also boast GM’s SuperCruise hands-free driving system.
There are three different configurations for the Tesla Cybertruck. The base model has a single motor driving the rear axle and offers a range of 250 miles and 0-60 mph acceleration of 6.5 seconds. The all-wheel-drive Dual Motor version is quicker, sprinting to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That model also has a range of 300 miles. The top Cybertruck boasts three electric motors, a range of 500 miles, and a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds.
The 2022 Hummer EV will bow late this year as the top-of-the-line First Edition model (already sold out). It boasts three electric motors, more than 300 miles of range, 1,000 horsepower, and 11,500 lb-ft of torque. Its regular production counterpart will be called the Hummer EV3X and will be available in 2022 but is rated at 830 horsepower while the torque rating remains the same. The EV2X follows and boasts two electric motors, 300 miles of range with 625 horsepower and 7,400 lb-ft of torque. It goes on sale in 2023.
The base model EV2 won’t see production until 2024. It will have the same horsepower and torque ratings as the EV2X, but only a 250-mile range. First Edition and 3X models will feature Watts to Freedom, a launch system similar to Tesla’s Ludicrous mode that promises 0-60 mph acceleration of about 3 seconds.
The Tesla Cybertruck in Tri-Motor form will be able to tow up to 14,000 pounds. Tesla says the maximum payload will be 3,500 pounds. It has a bed length of 6.5 feet and lockable storage front and rear of up to 100 cubic feet.
GMC has yet to release towing and payload figures for the Hummer EV. We can speculate in top trim with the 11,500 lb-ft torque figure that its towing capability will be more than 10,000 pounds. The Hummer EV features a 5-foot cargo box sporting GM’s flexible-opening MultiPro tailgate. There is also a front trunk to accommodate the removable roof panels. We expect the payload capacity to be about in the 2,000-pound range given the size of the bed and the power ratings for the various EV drivetrains.
Single Motor: $39,900
Dual Motor AWD: $49,900
Tri Motor AWD: $69,900
Not eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
GMC Hummer EV
EV2 AWD 2-motor: $79,995 (Available 2024)
EV2X AWD 2-motor: $89,995 (Available 2023)
EV3X AWD 3-motor: $99,995 (Available 2022)
First Edition AWD 3-motor: $112,995 (sold out)
Not eligible for the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit
Tesla Cybertruck advantages
The Tesla Cybertruck offers cargo carrying and towing capabilities that may appeal to traditional truck owners but with a radical, head-turning look. Thanks to its performance, Cybertruck may attract enthusiasts or extreme sports types rather than those looking for practicality.
Cybertruck’s impact will be more likely on the perception of what a truck can be rather than how they are used. With polarizing design and outrageous performance, the Cybertruck, if it’s successful, may very well challenge other traditional vehicle makers to think out of the box on their future designs.
GMC Hummer EV advantages
It’s almost as if being a pickup is incidental to the real reason why buyers will be interested in the 2022 Hummer EV. Underscoring that fact is that there will be an SUV version of essentially the same vehicle. Still, the open back and MultiPro tailgate will give the Hummer EV a practical bent that other off-road vehicles of its ilk lack. Still, with only a 5-foot bed, its cargo-carrying capability may be somewhat compromised, not so much from a weight perspective, but rather size. Stowing an off-road toy could be a bit of a challenge here.
As a much more expensive vehicle, the Hummer EV is more of a recreational piece than a work truck. It also boasts technology like SuperCruise, the ability to move sideways thanks to its Crab Walk system, and the availability to quick charge at 800 volts. These attributes give it the kind of cachet that could attract the kind of customers who may automatically choose a Tesla.
The bottom line
The Tesla Cybertuck aims for a new breed of customers to the pickup market thanks to its pedigree. It will boast a long range, eye-opening performance, and a selection of models that include an affordable base version up to a loaded range-topper with all the bells and whistles.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is a new kind of electric pickup, one endowed with what promises to be exceptional off-road prowess. Its calling card here is the iconic Hummer styling and branding. In addition to appealing to buyers new to the segment, it will tug on the heartstrings of H2 and H3 owners alike.
Are the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV eligible for federal tax incentives?
Unfortunately not. Both Tesla and General Motors have sold more than the 200,000-vehicle threshold that allowed them to offer $7,500 federal tax credits to buyers of their electric vehicles. However, both the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV will be eligible for state and local electric vehicle credits and rebates.
What’s the range of the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV?
Both the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV offer several models that offer a similar range. The single motor Tesla Cybertruck and the base GMC Hummer EV2 will be able to go 250 miles between charges. Both will offer larger battery packs with about 300 miles of range, while Tesla is promising a top model that will be able to go 500 miles on a single charge.
When will the Tesla Cybertruck and GMC Hummer EV be available?
Tesla is promising the first Cybertruck deliveries by the end of the year. GMC will also be delivering its sold-out First Edition models during the second half of 2021. Subsequent models, the EV3X, EV2X, and EV2 will roll out in 2022, 2023, and 2024, respectively.