(SNews) – A pair of automotive journalists used a brand-new $115,000 electric truck to tow a camper but it did not go well.
The YouTubers tested the Hummer EV truck’s suitability for a camping trip while comparing it to a diesel-powered equivalent.
The report comes as America, and the rest of the world, charge head first into an “all-electric” future for road transport.
Politicians are frequently telling American families to buy an electric vehicle, arguing that “you won’t have to pay those high fuel prices.”
If only things were so simple.
Most people own a vehicle because they need it for traveling to work, school, the store, etc…
Many people also use trucks for work and depend on them to travel long distances or tow trailers.
But how do electric trucks compare when put to the test against traditional internal combustion engine-powered vehicles?
The Fast Lane Truck’s YouTube channel matched a Ram 2500 diesel against an electric-powered Hummer in a towing contest.
Each vehicle was pulling identical 6,100-pound ATC Toy Hauler trailers.
The winner of the contest depends on what are you looking for.
Lower cost refueling/recharging? Hummer wins.
But practicalities like range in pulling a trailer, availability of stations, speed of refueling/recharging, convenience, retail price? Go with the Ram.
With the Ram at a full tank and the Hummer at a full charge with its computer estimating 327 miles of range, the competitors left Boulder, Colorado, heading northeast on Interstate 76 toward Fort Morgan, with hopes of making it all the way to Ogallala, Nebraska, a road trip of 227 miles.
Each truck drove 70 mph while on the interstate and showed inefficiencies caused by the poor aerodynamics of the boxy trailers they were towing.
Without a trailer, the Hummer is able to reach its EPA-rated 329 range, according to FLT.
About 80 miles down the road, with 150 miles remaining to an electric charger at Ogallala, it became evident the Hummer could not take the trailer that far.
So the FLT team decided to continue to Fort Morgan at about the 97-mile mark, and drive past Fort Morgan to a point where they believed they could get a distance measurement for the Hummer and have enough of a charge to get back to a charger in Fort Morgan.
They got about 13 miles past Fort Morgan and realized it was time to turn back.
Then came complications:
1) Chargers were full at Fort Morgan.
2) It was questionable whether or not the Hummer could even make it back to Fort Morgan.
3) There was only half-jokingly a discussion of the advantage of a slight tailwind from the east to help push the boxy trailer.
4) There was concern that the trailer would have to be removed to allow the Hummer to reach the charger.
Eventually, the Hummer made it to a charger station back at Fort Morgan. FLT found the Hummer pulled the trailer a total of 128 miles.
At the Fort Morgan charging station, the Hummer could be charged without removing the trailer if it was parked at a 150-kilowatt charger.
Using a nearby faster 350-kilowatt charger, however, would require unhitching the trailer.
Knowing it would be quicker to unhitch the trailer and use the 350-kilowatt charger, the FLT did just that, the Hummer then took 31 minutes to get a 93 percent charge.
The FLT video showed the charger listing a cost of about $37, although a promotion through Electrify America made the charge free.
Meanwhile, the Ram drove a total of 211.6 miles, averaging about 10 miles per gallon of diesel fuel, with an estimated 100 miles remaining.
The total fuel cost was $104.45.
The Ram went about twice the distance the Hummer was able to, with plenty of mileage remaining, although its total energy costs for its longer trip were 2.8 times that of the Hummer (much less than that on a per-mile basis).
So which is better?
Again, it depends on what you’re looking for. Diesel fuel costs more than electric charging.
But the Hummer’s retail cost is $114,000 compared to the Ram at $68,000. That’s a big difference.
And there are practical issues. Towing a trailer with the Hummer was a problem.
And although the test was in Colorado, it was on essentially flat land, not in the mountains where all-terrain vehicles like Hummer can be popular.
Forget taking an all-terrain EV into the Rockies with a trailer.
The test can best be summarized by the FLT hosts.
Kase van Reese said regarding the Hummer, “So really, really, [an] impressive truck. I mean — what?
“Almost three times the horsepower, unbelievably capable — especially off-road, but when it comes down to practicality — towing a trailer long distance, and also purchase price, it’s hard to beat the old-school diesel truck.”
Andre Smirnov concurred, “I agree, dude.
“So, even though electric motor efficiency is good, there is no way near enough energy on board this Hummer and it’s still kind of a toy.
“Like you said, I mean it’s very impressive but it’s more for, you know, maybe going out on the weekend but not really towing across country.”