GM Responds To GMC Hummer EV Pollution Study

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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Sam McEachern: Sam loves to write and has a passion for auto racing, karting and performance driving of all types.

View Comments (57)

  • It’s all subjective to where these Trucks are juiced up. The Hummer is a 9000 lb square. It’s never gonna be efficient no matter what is powering it. This is a Crazy “super truck” from a company that makes essentially all of its profits from trucks and truck based SUV’s. Its a bonkers marketing toy for what GM can do with an EV.

    • I mean the Rivian and lightning are up around 7000 lbs. even the "compact" Tesla Model three weighs as much as a Dodge challenger. so lets see these pukes put up or shut up and compare them all the same way, lets find out how truly "green" these BEV's really are with the same parameters. This particular situation is a witch hunt on a vehicle that is making the Karen's of the world mad.

  • What about the Malibu's proportion share of the percent of U.S. energy coming from fossil fuels? I don't see where this was factored in. Or am I missing something.

  • Tough to take that study seriously considering they’re comparing apples to raisins.

    Let’s add a Bolt to the comparison along with a Raptor R and a TRX. Help us to really understand what the Hummer is like compared to another EV as well as it’s closest truck competitors.

  • So what exactly is the point of the Hummer EV? If it has to actually be more harmful to the planet in order to attract buyers, why build it in the first place if the original goal was to help the planet. Seems to me it’s like the fat guy who eats twice as much low-fat food actually consuming more calories while trying to lose weight. It simply defeats the purpose. A Hummer EV will send more pollution into the environment while supposedly trying to reduce it. And don’t think we are just talking about the Hummer. I’m pretty sure the Silverado EV will be similarly porky and a similar contributor of greenhouse gases.

    But there’s another problem: Both of these vehicles are so massive and so irresponsibly heavy they’ll become a menace on the road for the more responsible consumers driving reasonably sized, more planet friendly cars. That, in turn, discourages people from driving smaller, lower emissions vehicles causing further harm to Mother Earth.

    When some negligent driver texting or putting on mascara in a Hummer EV runs a red light and kills a poor young girl in a Civic, what do you think will happen? First of all, I hope GM is sued and held partially liable because they built the weapon. Secondly, I hope states will then enact laws requiring a CDL to operate such massive “green vehicles”. Thirdly, and importantly, it serves as a disincentive for everyone else to buy a reasonably sized vehicle. I certainly don’t want to drive a Sonic or even a Malibu with 9,100 pound Hummers out there being piloted by drivers that have no specialized driver training and no idea how deadly their fake “green vehicle” can be.

    I don’t think GM built the Hummer EV because they care about the planet. A Hummer EV cruising around Detroit is using 50 percent coal power so it’s not helping anything. GM built it as the ultimate virtue signaling vehicle for the folks living in 18,000 square foot mansions with private jets and a penchant for lecturing to others about reducing their carbon footprint. The Hummer EV is for John Kerry-types plain and simple. And it’ll make GM lots of money. To hell with everyone and everything else.

    • That’s ridiculous. A CDL to drive a 9,100 pound vehicle? What do you think a standard class c license allows you to drive. In California a class c license allows you to drive a vehicle up to 25,999 GVWR. All 3500 (1 ton service trucks example silverado 3500 with 8 foot utility beds weigh more than that).

      There are millions of standard work vehicles that are completely the norm for their field that are driven by everyday people that weigh more than the hummer. Should they too now give up driving, and do they force everyone else to not drive Malibu’s or sonic’s ? Heck, even a suburban or Tahoe with a very small trailer in tow weigh more than that. Should everyone get a CDL?

      Even my service truck (2021 silverado 3500 duramax with a 9ft high top service body) weighs in just a hair under 13k everyday. Our 4500 silverado is just under 17,000 pounds everyday. Requiring huge swaths of the population to get a new license to drive a vehicle simply because it is 4.5 tons is silly. Nor would it be fair to say they need new licensure simply because their vehicle of choice is electric.

      • They do have a bit of a point while also completely missing the point. The difference is most 9k+ vehicles don't accelerate as fast as an EV. A lot of people already drive like idiots and once you add in the crazy acceleration in a huge vehicles that won't help. There should probably be an additional license or endorsement needed if an EV is over a certain weight or 0-60 time.

        Expanded support for solar panel expansion would not only help people be more energy independent but would also reduce the emissions on the hummer EV.

    • Out it this way a 6.2L 750hp motor pollutes at 2500 grams CO2 per mile. And people line up to pay over list all day long for them. So maybe there is some good here.

  • As a neutral observer, I find this study quite interesting because it is finally known that EV vehicles (BEV) as trucks, SAVs and SUVs are no more ecological than cars with combustion engines (ICE).The decisive factor is - the miles or kilometers that you drive daily, weekly, monthly and in total per year (365 days).
    Of course you have to take into account whether it is empty or with people in the vehicle and with or without a trailer - here BEV is much worse than ICE.

    GM says the Hummer EV is a Halo project or marketing project to get customers moving from ICE to BEV. I assume that Hummer EV customers certainly don't drive long distances every day, but like to drive around cities - the show goes on!

    • They're comparing a truck to a mid size sedan. Gas or electric the larger vehicle will be worse.

      Also towing with an EV is just as efficient as a gas vehicle with a trailer. EVs just carry less energy, so you have to charge more often. At the end of the day you'll still pay less charging than filling will gas to cover the same distance. But it will take longer.

      • The Flew There was a comparison done with a Ford Lightning EV truck and a GMC gas-powered truck... both were crew cabs... They both were hauling an identical 6,000-pound box trailer/toy hauler. The Ford Lightning made it 86 miles before being forced to recharge at only 2% of the batteries remaining. The gas-powered truck could still go well over the same distance again plus more without having to refill.

        • As I said the EV will take longer, because you have to stop and charge more often to cover the same distance. It would still cost less to charge the EV than to fuel the gas truck. It's about the time you have to make the trip.

          • This is true... BUT I do not have time to drive for an hour and a half only to have to sit and charge for an hour just to get it back to 70%... The test that was done hauling the 6,000-pound box trailers told me a lot... Do NOT buy an EV if you plan on towing (which is one of the primary reasons for owning a pickup)

          • There are people that use their trucks as trucks to haul and tow daily/often. But that's not the majority of truck owners. Otherwise, you wouldn't see so many at malls, Walmart, Costco and driving to the office daily. You don't buy $70k+ high trim level trucks for the job site.

    • GMC is saying... Ya, the Hummer pollutes far more BUT it gets people excited about electric vehicles. I say... It kind of defeats the purpose in the first place, doesn't it?

      GMC should say, "We built this toy because we could" That I could accept.

      • It pollutes more than a mid-size efficient sedan. Exactly how many of those are selling compared to trucks/large SUVs? So, if they can sell you an EV truck that has the same pollution as a mid-size sedan that's an overall win.

  • A 2900 pound battery that probably costs $15-$20k! How does that make any sense? This vehicle costs over $100k, there’s no way those tens of thousands of reservations will turn into actual sales.

  • If GM thinks that this vehicle promotes future EV interest and sales, I think it’s just the opposite. People will see and read about this vehicle and come away with the idea that EV’s are super expensive, grossly inefficient, and not really for them.

    • Good thing GM plans on making other types of EVs besides the Hummer. The Bolt is one of the most efficient EV's on the road. Unlike the Hummer last quarter that sold a couple hundred the Bolt sold over 7k. I also expect Cadillac will sell more Lyriqs than GMC sells Hummers this year.

  • GM is so full of it.
    Thank god we have a recession looming to smack some hard reality into GM.
    The Repo wave is just beginning.

    • You may have had a decent point had you used ANY other vehicle than the Hummer to make it.

      Repo? For a truck trading hands at $250,000??

      This is the online forum equivalent of setting a mine, tripping, and landing on it.

      • Go to CNBC dot com and take note of the story at the top page.
        A crypto hedge fund that went belly up has its founders running from the law & the gullible investors.
        Even expensive cars are getting repoed due to fools using PPP loans & other stimulus to pay for them.
        The free money economy is over.

  • My State is already preparing to enact surcharges on EVs. There will be a yearly charge for lost revenues from fuel taxes. Another will be a yearly safety tax to provide Firemen with training to deal with EV fires and accidents. They are considering mandating that dealerships keep some one on call round the clock to declare that an EV is safe to approach after an accident. Such as the case in Amsterdam where firemen would not touch a Tesla with exposed wiring until someone came from Tesla and deemed it safe. The occupant remained trapped in the car for hours. Let alone increased insurance costs and manufacturers liability.

    • High-density batteries produce heat. Fast charging high-density batteries create more heat... Batteries will always be limited to size and how dense batteries can be safely manufactured before becoming fire bombs waiting to catch fire.

    • Agreed, one of the first thing first responders do at a car accident scene today is to cut the battery cables. How will they do that on an EV? How much additional damage will this cause to the vehicles?

  • First, I do not concede that every time a human being exhales they are creating climate change. Secondly, electric cars only make sense with regards to harm to the environment in large urban areas to fight tail pipe emissions smog/unhealthy air. Otherwise, you are just transferring the so called pollutants (co2) to to another location / power plant that produces the electricity to power it, not to mention the front loading of the co2 to create the battery for the electric vehicle equivalent to driving an ICE car 8 years, the breakeven point being 60-90 thousand miles depending on vehicle battery size. (see Volvo study and others). Governments are mandating this change to EVs, the auto manufacturers have no choice but to sell and market the product.

    • It won't be too many years that all the 100% brainwashed people (including here, unfortunately), think that CO2 is a 'Pollutant' - obviously the powers that be hope that people confuse CO2 with CO. (Carbon Dioxide vs Carbon Monoxide)- will FINALLY REALIZE what was known by people decades earlier that:

      Carbon Dioxide is a BUILDING BLOCK OF LIFE.

      And lately a swedish study showed that food plants grown in CO2-enhanced environments like Hot Houses have 'Richer Colors' (redder tomatoes, etc) and have more nutruients than standard crops.

      This will be forced on Countries like Germany - who is currently limiting HOT WATER to people in JULY when the water is warm anyway... to think about modifying their thoughts. Just think what its going to be like there next February..

      At that time - just as Natural Gas and Nuclear Power have been declared 'Green Fuels' in Germany - so will the formerly "DIRTY" Coal be declared a "GREEN FUEL" since it makes plants grow greener, and prevents Germans from toppling their government as incidentally, just happened in Sri Lanka.

    • Look at the pictures of what's under the hood of the Lyriq. There is a picture of a firefighter hat. Pop off that plastic piece and there is a single cable to cut. With the Bolt there is also a clear cable to cut.

      • To your point about firemen and EV accidents or car problems on public roads. I asked my son-in-law who is a fireman if he had to deal with any fires involving an EV. He told me no fire issues despite having to deal with car crashes involving an EV (usually a Tesla) but is always dealing with ICE vehicle fires both from accidents and from overheating. He has mentioned that he has been trained to deal with killing the power in an EV. He kept mentioning “cut the correct big orange cable”. It’s summer time so naturally we will see more car fires during this period. It would be interesting to see if aging EV’s have more fire issues in the future.

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