Tesla Cybertruck vs. GMC Hummer EV, Bollinger and Rivian: Electric trucks compared

21 Oct, 2020 John Mendoza No Comments


World, meet the new Hummer.


GMC

There was a long period of time when Tesla, had it launched its Cybertruck, could’ve been the only electric pickup around. Those days are long past and now the Big T’s impossibly angular truck-thing looks like it will have some pretty stiff competition, both from legacy brands and new ones.

In addition to trucks from startups like Bollinger and Rivian, the Cybertruck will have to battle the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV. Let’s take a look at how all these EV trucks compare, not just to each other, but to a conventional, gas-powered truck like the Ford F-150, as well.

Performance

We’ll start with horsepower and torque. The figures here are definitely stacked in favor of the electric vehicles, with the F-150’s internal combustion engine options struggling to keep up. The Cybertruck’s top-trim packs three motors, and while Mr. Musk and Co. didn’t mention specific power figures, we feel confident that it will eclipse the Model S Performance. By how much? It’s anyone’s guess.

GMC says the Hummer EV will pack a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. Of course, that impressive torque number is more than likely axle torque, which is a significantly higher number than the SAE-certified spec the auto industry commonly uses. (Let Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske tell you what we mean.) The actual SAE number will be available closer to the Hummer’s launch in fall 2021 and GMC says it’ll be enough to propel the EV to 60 mph in 3 seconds flat.

The Bollinger B2 is a very different take on the electric truck formula. It’s focused on having incredible off-road talents and is less concerned with outright power and torque. That isn’t to say that it’s not packing some real heat under its boxy body though. Bollinger claims a respectable 614 hp and 668 lb-ft of torque from its dual-motor setup.

The Rivian R1T is probably a more fair comparison to Tesla’s truck, seeing as it’s much more on-road focused than the Bollinger. While the company will — like Tesla — offer several motor/battery combinations, the top-spec truck will make 750 hp and 829 lb-ft.

Finally, we have the best-selling vehicle in America, the truck that seems to best suit the needs of both private customers and fleet buyers — the Ford F-150. The most potent F-150 you can buy from the Blue Oval in terms of power is the Raptor, and its high-output turbocharged V6 makes a respectable 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, but in this crowd, that’s small potatoes.

Range

When it comes to people’s perception of an electric vehicle, there is perhaps no figure more critical to a potential customer than range, even if in their daily life, most people won’t go more than a couple dozen miles.

Here, the Tesla Cybertruck, with its claimed 500 miles of range on the top-tier Tri-Motor version, looks to be king. Now, 500 miles is, frankly, an insane figure, and we’d have to imagine that carrying around a battery pack big enough to make that possible would adversely affect other aspects of the vehicle’s performance, namely handling and braking.

Right now, GMC says the 2022 Hummer EV will have an estimated range of around 350 miles with its three-motor setup. GMC also says that the Hummer EV is compatible with 350-kW DC fast-charging, which can put about 100 miles of range into the battery in just 10 minutes.

Powertrain and Range

Power Torque Range (est.)
Tesla Cybertruck 800 hp (est.) 1,000 lb-ft (est.) 500 miles
GMC Hummer EV 1,000 hp 11,500 lb-ft (at axle) 350 miles
Rivian R1T 750 hp 829 lb-ft 400 miles
Bollinger B2 614 hp 668 lb-ft 200 miles
Ford F-150 450 hp (Raptor) 510 lb-ft (Raptor) 850 miles (Diesel)

After the Cybertruck comes Rivian’s R1T. We thought that the brand’s claims of a 400-mile range on its highest-spec model were the stuff of science fiction when it was announced a little over a year ago, but in the months since, the company has shown off its pack design and we’ve been impressed. Still, as with the Cybertruck, that’s a lot of weight to be slinging around all the time.

The Bollinger B2 is likely to be the most capable of our competitors off-road, but it’s by far the least capable when it comes to cruising range. Despite having a reasonably sizable battery pack rated at 120 kWh, Bollinger is only estimating that it’ll do 200 miles on a charge. Realistic? Yeah. Impressive? Nope.

Finally, the F-150 has a big gas tank and its engines are getting more efficient than ever. Range isn’t really an issue, but just for posterity’s sake, the new six-cylinder Power Stroke diesel in the F-150 manages a cruising range of around 850 miles on a single 26-gallon tank of diesel.

Payload and towing

Truck buyers are rightfully concerned about their prospective vehicle’s ability to haul whatever and tow anything. That’s why truck commercials on TV tend to be montages of stuff getting dumped into beds and ungainly-looking objects getting dragged behind vehicles. So, when it comes to hauling and towing, how do our competitors do?

Well, in the towing column, we have the Tesla claiming to be able to lug 14,000 pounds in Tri-Motor trim. That handily beats out the Ford F-150, which, in its most capable format — two-wheel drive, SuperCrew, 3.5-liter EcoBoost — can haul 13,200 pounds. Next would be the Rivian, which claims 11,000 pounds and the Bollinger, once again in last place, with the ability to tow just 7,500 pounds.

Payload is a little trickier to talk about because only Ford and Bollinger list their numbers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. So, Ford’s most capable configuration can take 3,270 pounds in its bed. The Bollinger dwarfs that figure with a claimed capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Towing and Payload

Towing Payload
Tesla Cybertruck 14,000 pounds NA
Rivian R1T 11,000 pounds NA
Bollinger B2 7,500 pounds 5,000 pounds
Ford F-150 13,200 pounds 3,270 pounds

The Ford is able to gain ground back by being the only truck available with an eight-foot bed. The rest of the competitors can only muster 6.5-feet of bed length at best, though the Bollinger can cheat a little and expand its bed space by intruding into the cab, and that nets it 8 feet, 2 inches of bed length.

Tesla claims a bed (or “vault”) length of 6.5-feet and a total storage capacity of 100 cubic feet, but offers no weight capacity and doesn’t elaborate on whether that 100 cubic feet of storage includes the front trunk. To its credit, Tesla’s bed is capable of being fully sealed and locked, thanks to a sliding cover.

Rivian’s R1T doesn’t offer a bed length figure nor a bed volume. It does tell us that its unique gear pass-through tunnel and front-trunk together have a volume of 23.5 cubic feet If we had to hazard a guess, we’d say that Rivian’s bed is smaller than that of a Honda Ridgeline, so don’t plan on carrying full sheets of plywood if you opt for the Rivian. Though, similar to Tesla, it has a powered, locking tonneau cover for its bed.

GMC has not yet released any towing or payload estimates for the Hummer EV. That said, the three marker lights on the top of the vehicle shown in the original teaser lead us to believe it’ll be a big boy, so expect competitive numbers.

Cost

When it comes to price, it should come as no surprise that the Ford F-150 is king. It’s available in an almost dizzying number of configurations, so odds are good that you’ll be able to find an F-150 that does what you want within your budget. The cheapest ones start at just $28,495, with the most expensive Limited trim coming in at $67,485 to start. That’s a massive delta, but choice is a good thing.

Next up would be Tesla’s Cybertruck, but we do have to add a caveat. See, the Big T is saying that the base model, rear-wheel drive Cybertruck will start at “under $40,000,” but we’ve seen this kind of talk from Tesla before. Remember that $30,000 Model 3? It took years to arrive and only stuck around for what seemed like weeks. Tesla doesn’t offer pricing for its more expensive Cybertruck trims, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see them scrape six digits.

When it launches, the GMC Hummer EV will cost $112,595 including destination, but that’s for the fancy Edition 1. Less powerful, lower-range, less expensive versions will follow in the coming years.

Rivian’s R1T will start at $69,000 and will go up from there. The base Rivian will likely be reasonably equipped but don’t expect that 180 kWh battery pack, and its promised 400 miles of range at that entry price. Again, Rivian hasn’t broken out pricing for its more expensive models, but we’d also expect to see them touch the low-$100,000 range.

And finally, in the last place once again is the Bollinger B2 with a starting sticker price of $125,000. That number ruined several keyboards around the office when we saw it, thanks to coffee spit takes, and it’s no less shocking now. As we’ve stated before, you’re getting a lot of off-road capability and rugged design for your money, but not a lot else.

One thing we opted not to discuss, or weigh against each truck was styling. Clearly, each of the vehicles we’ve talked about here has a very different idea of what a truck should look like, with Tesla’s being the most, shall we say, dystopian. Will that turn traditional truck buyers away? That, like all our other questions, will likely be answered in time.


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Originally published Nov. 24, 2019.
Update, Oct. 20, 2020: Adds GMC Hummer EV information.



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