Test Shows Electric Truck Could Cost Over $100 to Charge - Just Like Gas-Powered Cars


UPDATE, Aug. 25, 2022: A helpful reader emailed The Western Journal to suggest that fueling an electric Hummer in Michigan is more affordable than was made clear in this commentary, even after yesterday’s correction. Electrify America, where Car and Driver’s Testing Hub charged the truck for its test, offers a “Pass+” membership that reduces the cost of electricity to $0.31 per kWh, a discount of about 28 percent. Even after the $4 monthly fee for the membership, this would reduce the cost to fully charge the battery to under $80 — less than it would cost to fill even the smallest of the gas tanks installed in 2010 Hummers.

CORRECTION, Aug. 24, 2022: The Western Journal did not explain the math used to justify the $100 number in the headline or provide context to make that number useful. That information has been added to this commentary.

In the final analysis, the electric Hummer tested was shown to be more affordable to fuel than the last gas-powered version of the same vehicle, at least for most users. However, the new EV version retails for about twice what a new gas-powered H3 cost in 2010, even after adjusting for inflation.

Its purchase price is over $100,000 and it can take $100 and nearly 2 hours to fill the battery at a charging station.

Who would want such limitations on an electric vehicle, even though EVs may seem cool to some people?

Apparently, 70,000 people did earlier this year, General Motors said, noting pre-orders for its new electric Hummer.

And GM is having to scramble to produce them.

You remember the big ol’ internal combustion engine Hummer that used to lumber around city streets and, we’re told, take some off-road adventures. It was the civilian version of the military’s Humvee

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GM got rid of that gas-guzzler more than a decade ago.

But late in 2020, it re-introduced Hummer as an EV and reportedly sold out pre-orders in 10 minutes, The Detroit Free Press said.

And GM thought the new Hummer EV was just going to be a niche brand, Motor Biscuit reported in March.

But why the overwhelming demand? Is it the coolness factor?

Must be, because the new Hummer has serious limitations, a Saturday Motor Biscuit story said.

“GM is marketing the Hummer in this EV world as the Hummer of the future. While it may be more environmentally friendly (depending on where the electricity comes from), it actually doesn’t appear very cost- or time-effective. “

But it’s fast, according to a Car and Driver review of the 2022 Hummer — its three electric motors can rocket the vehicle to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. Except you then have to stop it, and its braking is not all that great.

Then there’s the price tag, $110,295, according to Car and Driver.

And since the highest-priced Edition 1 model, is sold out, you might want to sign up for the next price point — $106,645 – but that probably won’t be available until 2023.

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Wait long enough and the lower-priced models will be available – the $96,645 Hummer in 2023 and the $86,645 Hummer in 2024.

There’s another heavy-duty expense – the $100 battery charge.

Car and Driver’s Testing Hub took one of the vehicles to an Electrify America station, which charged $.43 per killowatt-hour. Beginning at 10 percent of battery capacity and charging up to 90 percent — i.e., an 80 percent charge — cost $81, including tax. Obviously, that’s just over $1 per percentage of battery charge, so charging the same battery from zero to 100 percent would presumably cost a bit over $100.

Charging the same battery at home would, of course, be considerably less expensive — about 60 percent less expensive, according to July price data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or about $35.36, including taxes and other surcharges.

This was about the same as Hummers manufactured in 2010 — the last production year — with gas tanks of 23 to 27 gallons. A fill-up today would cost in the neighborhood of $90 to $105 at today’s average price of $3.883.

The real difference there, of course, is that the gas tank could be filled in a few minutes, whereas the “fast” charge took 1 hour and 49 minutes.

In its review of the Hummer, Car and Driver said its testing at 75 mph showed a 290-mile range between charges.

Meanwhile, Investopedia reported in February that 88 percent of EV owners charged their cars at home, reducing the cost considerably — and while home charging is slow, it can — and presumably usually is — done overnight.

Homeowners can put in their own fast-charging equipment, but that requires electrical upgrades that can range from $400 to as high as $12,700.

Summarizing the Hummer, Car and Driver said, “[A]lthough GM has attempted to recast the Hummer for the electrified era, that doesn’t mean it’s cheap to fuel.

“It is, after all, a 9640-pound, 1000-horsepower, four-wheel-drive pickup truck that costs six figures, no matter what it’s powered by.”

Motor Biscuit’s summary: “The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is extremely rad. However, there is no way to argue that it is efficient, practical, or even good for the environment. It isn’t. It’s a 10,000-lb truck that has 1,000 hp, costs $100 bucks to fill, and nearly two hours to do so. All this comes at the initial cost of somewhere north of $100,000 and a loooong wait. The Hummer might as well be a Miata as far as practicality is concerned.”

Practical or not, for some reason, given current orders, GM is so far having 70,000 laughs to the bank.

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.