GMC Hummer EV Battery Teardown Proves Our Fears
The GMC Hummer EV appears to have picked up right where its gasoline-drinking predecessor left off. While the latest take on the nameplate comes powered by a battery pack, the Hummer EV isn’t exactly what you’d call an efficient machine. Whether you're talking about material usage or MPGe, the Hummer falls behind most of its peers. Thanks to the team over at Munro & Associates, we now have a chance to see just how wasteful the packaging of the truck’s gigantic battery pack truly is.
Like all of General Motors upcoming electric flagships, the Hummer EV is supported by the automaker’s Ultium battery and motor technology. In the case of the Hummer that system draws power from a 246-kWh battery pack, of which 212-kWh are usable. That battery is one of the largest slated to be offered by any automaker in the near future, following only Stellantis and its optional 229-kWh battery pack in the Ram 1500 REV. The battery is so large that it tips the scales at over 2800 pounds, putting it in line with a Mazda Miata in terms of outright heft. That gigantic brick in the floor is a major contributor to the truck’s 9000+ pound curb weight.
In the latest video in the Munro Live series, engineers Antonio DiNunno and Julian Aytes yanked the aforementioned battery pack out of a Hummer EV for a full teardown. The two were quick to point out that the removal itself was not an easy process, made more difficult by the mass of the pack. It didn’t take long to see why that’s the case however, as the battery cradle is made entirely from stamped steel. More specifically, there are 139 individual stamped steel components that are held together by more than 3,500 laser projected and spot welds. It is important to note that almost every other automaker has opted to build EV battery cradles out of aluminum in an effort to reduce mass. The amount of machine work and welding that goes into a Hummer battery pack was also quite shocking to the Munro team, as all of that adds to the manufacturing costs of the truck.
Munro’s concerns weren’t isolated to the battery cradle however. There are areas within the pack itself where packaging appears to be a difficulty, particularly where the power distribution unit is concerned. Munro also highlights the fact that GM is spending much more on individual items like complicated cell separators than other competitors in the EV space. When combined with the labor intensive cradle design, the likelihood of GM losing money on these packs is quite high. The engineers ultimately determined that GM will have to address some of the design concerns in the Ultium pack if they wish to protect profitability.
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