When the GMC Hummer EV made its official debut, the automaker declared it as the first supertruck on the market. That may seem like a bold claim, but the electric truck’s 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque rivals the output ratings of many high-end supercars. Of course in order to be a “supertruck”, the new Hummer also has to do things that buyers in the truck segment care about. In recent years, that has meant providing suitable off-road capability. After wrapping up their winter testing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, GMC is now heading somewhere where they can better test those capabilities. In their latest teaser video, the automaker confirms that they are shipping the truck off to the desert for some more pre-production testing.
While GMC hasn’t yet confirmed where this desert testing will take place, chances are it will happen somewhere near Johnson Valley in California. As the home to King of the Hammers, this area is well suited for both off-road and high-temperature shenanigans. And while we already know that the GMC Hummer EV carries loads of hardware that should make it quite the capable trail runner, it is possible that the desert trip has more to do with the latter of those two.
As we mentioned when GMC shipped the truck up to the UP, extreme temperatures at either end of the spectrum provide an interesting challenge for electric vehicles. This has to do with the batteries that supply their motors with power. If you’ve ever left your phone outside on a hot day, you have almost certainly gotten a warning message about the battery being too hot to function properly. That is because lithium-ion batteries contain something called an electrolyte fluid, which is impacted by changing temperatures. When it’s cold outside this fluid can “gum up”, and when it is hot the fluid can become too thin to properly discharge energy. In either instance, an electric car will face a significant drop in range and overall performance.
These temperature issues are something that GMC likely wants to test out, in order to see what sort of reduction in capability customers are going to face. Of course the desert also provides the added benefit of being great for off-roading as well. Expect to see a new highlight real of the electric truck in action before too much longer.