By on December 17, 2021

GMC

Why are we switching to electric cars? I mean, I’m not talking about the need to “do better” when it comes to Mother Earth and the baby kangaroos — even Randy Newman wouldn’t bomb the baby kangaroos — but are EVs and billions spent to lower prices and build chargers for the things really going to make the world better if people just look at them as a way to have their cakes and eat them, too? To put it another way, are you really reducing your carbon footprint behind the wheel of a 9,046 lb. GMC Hummer pickup?

That’s right, kids. The upcoming all-electric Hummer will tip the scales at more than 4.5 tons — and that’s “just” the pickup. The SUV will probably weigh more since it’ll be hauling around more glass, seats, and carpets than the pickup. Despite having enough mass to generate its own gravity, the GMC-badged truck can rocket to 60 mph in under 4 seconds, and effectively crush its way through untouched, virgin wilderness in a manner worthy of its heritage as an Army man cosplay favorite (Punisher window sticker not included).

It’s almost enough to make me throw my hands up and say, “Why bother!?” And that, dear B&B, led me to ask myself the question: What would I drive if I just didn’t give a f***?

LET’S STOP PRETENDING WE’RE A PRACTICAL PEOPLE

Efficiency has never been a hot seller in America – a fact that utterly doomed the “first generation” of modern EVs like the Nissan Leaf and tadpole-y Aptera to the also-ran status while the $100k Tesla Model S broke sales records by drag racing Hellcats on YouTube. Similarly, Americans buy literally millions of trucks every year. Guns, too, but this isn’t a political thing, it’s just a statement on America’s buying habits.

We buy that stuff for low-percent use cases. We MIGHT need a gun, so we buy a gun. We MIGHT need a truck, so we buy a truck. That’s America. Do you want to sell to America? Create a compelling 1 percent use case for your premium-priced product, and watch everyone buy it. Think I’m wrong? If you’re old enough to remember “needing” to buy a cell phone “for emergencies”, you know I’m right.

Let’s stop pretending, then, that we want to buy something for the good of someone else or that our needs aren’t handily met by a Corolla or Civic, and just embrace the wretched excess that is the MegaRexx MegaRaptor.

GMC

YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED A MEGARAPTOR

If you’re reading this as an American, you might be tempted to think of a small-percent use case whose needs could be met by a MegaRaptor. If you come up with one, then you’re better than me. Even so, it’s hard to not find something strangely compelling in whatever mental disorder led these guys to take a full-sized Ford SuperDuty pickup, lift it, beef up the suspension, then fit it with an aggressively-styled bodykit that’s a full 18 inches wider than stock — and then have the audacity to try and sell the thing.

They’ve sold a few, too — whether that’s to their credit or something that will eventually be used against them in an EPA court hearing remains to be seen.

I imagine a massively powerful, nearly impossibly heavy truck like the MegaRaptor would be the most – uh, whatever the opposite of “green” car might be. Doubly so with the owner rollin’ coal down the highway at 80 mph with single-digit mpg numbers.

Remember that 9,046 lb. of weight the new Hummer will be pulling around? According to Google, the heaviest Ford F-Series F350 Crew Cab Dually weighs in at “just” 7,737 lbs. Even assuming the “worst case” scenario here, it’s hard to imagine the MegaTruxx kit adds 1,300-plus lbs. to the big truck.

Start your MegaRaptor build with the lightest F-350, and your finished ride will still weigh in at more than 3,000 lbs. less than the electrified GMC (3,168 lbs. by my math). There’s no way that balances out with the GMC still being the green choice, does it?

HAVING YOUR CAKE AND EATING IT, TOO

As ridiculous as it sounds, it would appear that GMC’s big Hummer actually is significantly more energy-efficient than the MegaRaptor, despite the weight penalty. Assuming GM’s claims about the Hummer’s efficiency are true, the big truck delivers 1.7 miles of driving range for every kWh of energy use. According to this handy-dandy conversion calculator I found online (And, like, everything on the internet is true, right?), that works out to more than 57 MPGe.

That seems pretty good. I mean – you’re not getting 57 mpg in the MegaRaptor, that’s for damn sure. And, yes, there is more to measuring the carbon impact of a vehicle than just the simple energy efficiency or fuel economy of the thing, but as far as out-of-context statistics go it’s a pretty compelling one.

GMC

I don’t really know what to make of that, to be honest. I fully expected the Hummer to be measurably worse than the MegaRaptor, energy-wise, and expected to point a big-ol’ accusatory finger at GM for greenwashing its heaviest product this size of a TopKick, but I can’t do that today. Even the old bogeyman of “you’ll need coal to make all that electricity” has been totally debunked — we’re making more electricity than ever, using less coal than ever, and that’s according to Trump’s 2020 administration.

Luckily, I don’t have to stay confused for long. You’re the Best and Brightest, surely you can look at a 9,000-plus lb. SUV and make it worse for the planet than a 5,000 lb. pickup, right? You can make it make sense.

I really hope you can, anyway – because the Hummer is coming to your street, soon, and the over-manicured fingers clutching the wheel while distractedly yelling at their spoiled, over-privileged children in the back seat are going to run you down with more than 9,000 lbs. of electrified steel. And, if they have more than a 3 count, they’ll do so at more than 60 mph, feeling smug in their “environmental consciousness” the entire time.

Live in fear, people. Live in fear.

[Images: GMC]

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38 Comments on “Analysis: What’s the Opposite of Reducing Your Carbon Footprint?...”


  • avatar
    jmo2

    I get the sense that a great deal of anti-EV sentiment is driven by status anxiety. I can only assume that as electric lighting was being rolled out and the affluent we having their homes wired for electricity, those that couldn’t afford to transition away from coal gas made up all kinds of stories about how terrible and dangerous electricity was. That’s sure seems like what’s going on now.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Don’t forget change-anger as a contributing factor to anti-EV sentiment.

      Lots of people dislike change, even if that change is an improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      MitchConner

      Wrong. EVs are fine.

      It’s the creeps who buy them with their smug “look at me I’m saving the planet” attitude as they tool around in their electric whatever — dropping anchor in the fast lane and only speeding up when somebody tries to pass them along with plenty of other irritating behavior. They’re not as bad as Prius drivers from back in the day — they’re worse.

      Then there are the dopes living in their reality distortion zones parroting every dumb EV talking point — even if it’s total horse manure. And they’ll defend their idiocy to the death — going so far to simply fabricate “facts” to make themselves feel better.

      As for what I’d drive if I didn’t care? I’d get a Gulfstream G800, cut the wings off, tune the engines to spew massive amounts of smoke and fire like a jet drag car, then taxi it around — using the engine thrust to send every knucklehead Biden voter and their car flying like a bounce house in a hurricane.

    • 0 avatar

      This is *SUCH* a g-d smart comment …

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I’ll consider EV trucks if they provide similar range and performance of my current truck and cost isn’t too excessive. I’ve read about EV ADV bikes and would not go down that path either since they don’t offer the range I need.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      @Lou_BC: “I’ve read about EV ADV bikes and would not go down that path either since they don’t offer the range I need.”

      I’m ADV shopping now and agree. I love an EV as daily transportation and would like an electric ADV bike (especially if I had two-wheel drive). The problem is the weight and the range. On one potential ride I’m looking at it’s 1,100+ km (692 miles) between charging stations. Goose Bay Labrador (where there actually is a level 2 charging station). It’s the same approach I took with the EV car. I took a look at what I’d be using it for and if it would work for me. The car does. Right now, for an ADV motorcycle, it doesn’t.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @mcs – I’m considering getting a 701 Husky “long range”. Dual fuel tanks with 25 litres of capacity. It’s more of a dual sport than ADV bike. My current DRZ400SM with 15 litre Acerbis tank is only good for 240 km. A dual tank Husky is good for double that range.
        The T7 feels top heavy to me and the suspension’s too soft. I don’t like the fact that the KTM 890’s heavier than the 790 it replaced.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    What’s the Opposite of Reducing Your Carbon Footprint?

    Random thoughts (numbered for easy refutation):

    i. I am glad that there are people more successful than me, and I am glad that they have choices. I am glad that occasionally their choices advance technology, because down the road I will be the recipient of the better (and cheaper) technology. [Witness my recently-acquired $25 bidet – take that, Georgia-Pacific!]

    ii. Once a year at my house we have Canada Economy Day where we cut down all the trees on our property and sell them, dig up half the minerals, and then spend the rest of the day discussing American politics.

    iii. I own guns for the same reason I own fire extinguishers. I own multiple fire extinguishers. I have never ‘used’ one, but I do benefit on a daily basis from owning them.

    iv. Speaking of electricity:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/nyregion/nyc-gas-stove-heat-ban.html

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Alright, I have to give credit…that Canada economy day bit might be the greatest post ever made on this site. Spit my coffee out. They also make syrup or something though.

  • avatar
    ajla

    You, a compensating, pathetic rube: drives your fat wife and smelly kids around in an unnecessary F-150 XLT SuperCrew.

    Me, a cultured, intelligent driving ënthûsitãst that is certainly well-endowed: drives a Porsche 911 GTS 7M with Sport Chrono package, nose lift system, and carbon ceramic brakes.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    You covered all the points I would have.

    I will stand with the EV critics on one point: Recycling batteries remains mostly theoretical, despite efforts from startups like Redwood Materials: https://www.redwoodmaterials.com/

    On the other hand, we’re not trashing that many EVs just yet.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo2

      “ Of the 180,000 metric tons of Li-ion batteries available for recycling worldwide in 2019, just a little over half were recycled.”

      It sure doesn’t sound theoretical.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        I wonder what percentage of that 1/2 of 180k tons of Li-ion batteries were of substantial size. Were these laptop batteries? Watch/cell phone batteries? I rather doubt that, at the current time, the amount of BEV-size batteries being recycled is of significance in this 1/2 of 180k tons. Large Li-ion batteries probably require different sized equipment and technology to recycle.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not sure how full end of life recycling is gong yet. But lots of decent cells are getting pulled out of dead or almost dead packs and reassembled in stationary, boat and RV Batteries.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    plenty of vids on youtube of people in garbage countries “refurbishing” lead acid batteries. so where do all wrecked tesla batteries go? thats where the other batteries will end up too

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Oddly enough, my answer to this question is still a hybrid (which points to the non-efficiency benefits of electric propulsion). Without a second’s hesitation, I’d find myself the best 2016-17 LS600h on the market and snap it up. The hybrid powertrain makes the already torquey V8 feel like torque reserves are limitless.

  • avatar
    redapple

    I have 8 police officers in my family. From beat cop to captain to Chief. The cop stories at family gatherings are FANTASIC. You would not believe.

    Car crash stories come up. They all recant The Lug nut theory. In a crash, the guy with most wins. F 250 V. civic is pretty bad. Ok lets throw in the mix a 9000 lb E – hummers. (and 7000 lb Rivians and so forth) Jeez. You cannot imagine the death that is upcoming. 9000 lb vehicles should not be allowed. PERIOD.

    Total deaths will climb. But thats not important. Only BEVs matter. Shut up.

    1 Rare earth mining in 3 rd world countries is a horror show.
    2 Battery Disposal is not a solved problem.
    3 Electric generation, supply, range, charging points are all unanswered questions.
    4 Billions spent on new products by companies that are already not real solid financially. So as GM, Ford and Stellantis shrink….
    5 china supply will grow. This will Enrich an empire that HATES US. They will kill or diminish or subjugate Europe and US.
    Dont worry. The government will oversee this rollout. They do everything so well.

    I think this is total folly. On many fronts.

  • avatar
    tane94

    Rolling coal strikes me as the middle finger to the rise of EVs. A big diesel pickup with bypassed emission controls creating a black cloud when the driver floors it is the ultimate, visible anti-EV protest. I’d also pick any hooptie that produces a noxious odor from its rail pipe — how these ancient heaps seemingly running with their original spark plugs from the Carter Administration passed state vehicle inspection is beyond my understanding

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    What’s the opposite to reducing my carbon footprint?

    I bought my neighbour’s 76 CJ5 with 304. I’d like to also start wrenching on my 68 Galaxie with a 390 4 barel, 10.5/1 compression ratio.

  • avatar
    Add Lightness

    I’m not a very paranoid person but the idea of your typical A-hole Hummer driver propelling 9,000+ pounds with 1,000 hp under their foot showing the world how special they are is terrifying.

  • avatar
    Mustangfast

    Maybe I’m showing my age, but to me Hummers brand image will forever be associated with ego tripping males and soccer moms who want to look “hip” by buying unnecessarily large Suburban and Colorado clones. And while 57 mpge is better than most gas cars, it is about half of most current EVs. The 9k lbs is shocking and scary now that you’ve laid out the threat it poses. I think BEVs are rounding a corner in adoption, but I worry the excess incentives are pushing them on the public before the kinks have been worked out.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lou_BC–Agree but if I were to consider an EV pickup it would be the LIghtning in its base trim. Ford should do well with the LIghtning since it is more like a traditional pickup and its starting MSRP is lower.

  • avatar
    alan996

    To answer your opening question: my 1999 Lincoln Towncar with 44K on the clock. Should last me until the last charging station is closed.

  • avatar

    Running anything two stroke…snowmachine, jetski, or cycle.

    Followed by auto racing.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I’m interested in a BEV, specifically a Tesla Model 3 Long Range. It has nothing to do with efficiency, reducing my carbon footprint or saving the planet. It has entirely to do with performance and the fact that Teslas are, currently, the only really unique and interesting automobiles on the market.

    My first “good” car was a 1984 Mazda RX-7 with the more powerful, fuel injected engine. Zero to sixty time was about eight seconds. It was replaced by my current toy, a 2008 Infiniti G37S coupe. Zero to sixty time below six seconds. (I’m sure it’s slower at 6,500 feet altitude where I now live.) The Model 3 is rated at a bit over four seconds to sixty. Also, it would be my first all-wheel-drive performance vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      “(I’m sure it’s slower at 6,500 feet altitude where I now live.)”

      This is an interesting point. How will the altitude affect the performance of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range?

      • 0 avatar
        Kendahl

        Altitude will have no effect on BEV performance. For an ICE, ascending to higher altitude is equivalent to a reverse supercharger. The air the engine receives is thinner at high altitude than at low. The result is less power. Humans experience the same effect. You’ll breathe normally at 1,000 feet but huff and puff at the summit of Pike’s Peak in Colorado.

  • avatar
    BSttac

    10,000lbs with poor brakes and rapid acceleration creates a recipe for disastrous car accidents. Given that Hummers are never driven by sane people this will be a weapon on the road. Not looking forward to it

    • 0 avatar
      kcflyer

      Just wait until these 5 ton status symbols start driving on wet, icy or snow packed roads. The owners will likely not have any clue how much inertia they are trying to stop with the same friction they had in their previous ride that weighed thousands of pounds less. Gonna be a bad experience for those they hit.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Throw out “MPGe,” which is some garbage based on power plant emissions, and just give us miles per kWh. I pay per kWh just like I pay per gallon of gas, and both kWh and gas get turned into some measure of driving range.

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