Nobody will ever mistake the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV for the GMC Hummer EV truck. In fact, the visual differentiation is at least as great as that which distinguished the 2003-2009 Hummer H2 SUT from the Silverado crew cab with which it shared its GMT800-derived architecture. The GMT800 featured a three-section mix-and-match frame that supported nearly 40 different truck configurations throughout its eight-year lifespan. The GM Ultium platform that underpins the new electric Silverado and Hummer EV may yet prove itself to be as flexible if not more so. Here are the most meaningful differences between the electric Silverado and the Hummer EV pickup.
We expect the 24-module 200-kWh battery pack to be the largest used in any Ultium passenger vehicle application, and it fits neatly between the axles of the GMC Hummer EV. But as it was a decade ago, the Silverado will be expected to work harder for a living than the more lifestyle-oriented Hummer. To give the electric Silverado work truck a nearly 6-foot pickup box, the Chevy’s wheelbase is stretched 10.1 inches, with the overall length increasing a similar amount. (Hummer’s EV SUV wheelbase is 9 inches shorter than the pickup’s.) The GMT800 architecture featured seven different midsection frame modules to provide the needed wheelbases, and the Ultium platform’s midsection similarly features extruded aluminum rails that are easily cut to varying lengths.
Although the side rails are spaced the same distance apart in the Silverado EV and Hummer EV, dramatically different track widths are made possible by fitting wider suspension crossmembers and longer control arms on the Hummer. Larger tires also have a small impact on the front and rear track dimensions, which are noticeably narrower on the Silverado.
Silverado Gets the Midgate
Back in the GMT800 era, the Silverado was a fully conventional pickup, whereas the Hummer H2 (and Chevy Avalanche) received a midgate, which extended the H2’s pitifully short 4-foot bed to 6 feet. Today the Hummer gets a fixed 5-foot bed, the Chevy Silverado EV work truck a 6-foot bed, and up-level models like the RST First Edition will get a midgate that folds forward into the cab, extending the floor length to 9 feet.
Chevy: One or Two Motors vs. Hummer’s Two or Three
Chevrolet will launch the 2024 Silverado EV with a motor powering each axle for standard all-wheel drive. Work trucks will be rated at 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque. Lower-powered models featuring two-wheel drive (probably rear-drive versions) are expected to follow shortly thereafter. By contrast the entry-level Hummer EV2 and EV2X will get two motors as standard, rated at 625 hp and an estimated 617 lb-ft of torque, with the top EV3X and Edition 1 featuring a single-motor front axle and two motors at the rear. The base EV3X will likely produce 1,000 hp and 863 lb-ft of torque.
WOW vs. WTF
Top models of each brand’s Ultium pickup will get a special high-power mode. Chevy is calling this mode Wide-Open Watts (WOW), and it’ll come standard on top RST First Edition models. Engaging WOW will unleash “up to 664 hp and 780 lb-ft of torque.” The Edition 1 Hummer EV gets a Watts to Freedom (WTF) mode good for 1,000 hp and 1,045 lb-ft. Engaging WTF initiates a sensory experience of rumbling sound effects that Chevy does without.
On-Road vs. Off-Road Focus
At least for the initial production run, the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition will have an on-road focus to distinguish it from the Hummer EV Edition 1’s off-road focus. Toward that end, the Chevy’s air-ride suspension will offer just 3.9 inches of height adjustability, while the Hummer’s Extract mode increases ground clearance by 5.8 inches. And although both trucks get four-wheel steering, only the Hummer gets the Crab Walk diagonal-driving mode. Perhaps the feature that best illustrates the trucks’ different missions is the tire choice. Hummers ride on knobby 18-inch 305/70-series Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires, with tall, forgiving sidewalls for maximum traction and resilience off-road. The Chevy rolls on more stylish 24-inch wheels wrapped in 275/50-series Michelin Primacy LTX tires featuring a much less aggressive and considerably quieter tread pattern. Work trucks will get smaller 18-inch wheels with taller sidewall tires.
Fixed Glass Roof vs. Removable Panels
The 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV RST First Edition models will all come equipped with a deep-tinted fixed glass roof that affords better visibility for all passengers than a sliding panoramic roof could, plus improved headroom versus a steel roof with a headliner. By contrast, all Hummer EV Edition 1 pickups come with three removable glass roof panels—a cross-car targa-style roof over the front seats and two removable T-top-style panels covering the rear. The electric Silverado intends to isolate passengers from the noise and heat of the city or highway, while the Hummer aims to make off-road adventurers feel more at one with nature.
Chevy Is Tops for Towing
The electric Chevrolet Silverado comes out of the gate with 8,000-10,000 pounds of towing capacity versus the GMC Hummer’s 7,500, but a special fleet variant capable of towing 20,000 pounds is promised to follow in model year 2025. This further reinforces the Silverado EV’s more work-related mission.
Heavy-Duty Mass and Midsize-Truck Payload
Both the Silverado EV and Hummer EV Pickup are rated to carry just 1,300 pounds of payload. That’s the same capacity as the Chevy Colorado, and it’s largely because these 200-kWh monster trucks weigh so bloody much. (The Hummer EV Edition 1 pickup we tested weighed 8,976 pounds.) Chevy isn’t talking curb weights for the Silverado EV just yet, but we anticipate that work trucks especially should end up about 1,000 pounds lighter, with one less motor and a much lighter roof design. We expect future work truck variants with smaller batteries and rear-wheel drive to weigh even less and therefore carry more payload.
Price and Availability
The price tag certainly will distinguish the Chevrolet Silverado EV (and anticipated GMC Sierra EV) from the mighty Hummer. The difference is less stark when comparing top First Edition and Edition 1 models, which are expected to ring in at $106,695 for the Chevy and $110,395 for the Hummer. But the cheapest announced Hummer EV2 model is expected to start at $79,995 to compete with well-equipped Tesla Cybertrucks and Rivian R1Ts, while Chevy must compete with Ford’s $41,669 F-150 Lightning electric work truck. Chevy therefore set the Silverado EV work truck’s starting price at $41,595. (Both Chevy price quotes include our $1,695 estimate of the as-yet-unannounced destination charge).
Both Ultium-platform EVs will roll off GM’s Factory ZERO, Detroit-Hamtramck, Michigan, Assembly Center. Hummer Edition 1s arrive throughout 2022; EV3X model deliveries begin in fall 2022; Silverado EV work trucks and Hummer EV2X models land in spring 2023; Silverado EV RST First Edition trucks arrive in fall 2023; and base Hummer EV2 trucks trail behind in spring 2024.
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