GM Authority last week reported on a study conducted by a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that claimed the GMC Hummer EV emitted more greenhouse gasses than a Chevy Malibu when taking into account so-called downstream emissions. GM has now sent a statement to GM Authority responding to the study’s findings and providing some insight into the GMC Hummer EV and its status as a halo product for electrification.
GM’s statement did not refute the study’s findings, which alleged the GMC Hummer EV technically emits 341 grams of C02 per mile driven. Instead, it points out the Hummer EV’s ability to attract customers who may not typically buy a battery-powered vehicle, ideally helping drive EV adoption in North America.
“The study ignores the real-world importance and benefit of bringing to market performance oriented EVs like the GMC Hummer EV,” the GM spokesperson said. “Seventy five percent of the tens of thousands of customers who’ve reserved a Hummer EV have never owned an EV – many are or were pickup owners. The GMC Hummer EV (and other performance-oriented EVs) are accomplishing more in bringing EV skeptics into the EV fold than any of these glass-half-empty criticisms ever will.”
The study was conducted by a non-profit called the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE, and noted the Chevy Malibu, an internal combustion engine passenger sedan with a turbocharged 1.5L engine, emits 320 grams of C02 from its tailpipe per mile driven, making it more eco-friendly than the all-electric Hummer. While the Hummer EV produces zero tailpipe emissions, 60 percent of U.S. energy comes from fossil fuels, so the vehicle still produces comparable pollution to some internal combustion engine vehicles.
This comparison did not take into account what it takes to produce the Hummer’s ~2,900-pound battery, either, which is partially comprised of rare earth materials like nickel, cobalt, manganese and aluminum. These metals need to be mined and refined before they can be used, further contributing to the vehicle’s overall carbon footprint. In fairness, we’ll point out that ICE vehicles obviously have carbon emissions tied to their production, as well, as do the gasoline and diesel fuels that power them.
The ACEE study noted that smaller, lighter EVs will not only be more efficient than something like the Hummer, but will also need a smaller battery pack with less mined rare earth metals, making them more eco friendly on both fronts. So while GM may have a point about the Hummer EV’s status as a halo product, it also serves as an example of why smaller, lighter vehicles are also needed to help address climate change on a larger scale.
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