With the Hummer EV making a splash in the off-roading community (pun absolutely intended), it’s no surprise that people are calling into question its capability when compared to other water-fording pickups, both gas and electric. Here’s everything you need to know about the Hummer EV’s water fording capabilities and water-related issues.
The Hummer EV is able to safely tackle a water fording depth of about 32 inches and has an ingress protection rating of IP67, allowing it to wade through water without risking the electrical components. If water does enter the electrical system, safeguards are in place to isolate the battery and other volatile components to keep the user safe.
From their conception, electric vehicles have always placed a great emphasis on protecting the delicate electronics that power the car, and the Hummer EV is no different; however, there are some significant concerns regarding the Hummer EV’s water-fording capabilities that have been raised by disgruntled customers.
The rest of this article will walk you through whether the Hummer EV can go through water and why this particular GM vehicle might not be the best water-fording option out there.
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Can Electric Vehicles Go in Water?
Before talking about the issues with the Hummer EV, it’s important to note that this vehicle, like every EV that makes it to a production line, is rigorously tested and assigned an ingress protection (IP) rating. This offers a measure of just how effective the sealing is against particular matter and water.
The Hummer EV certainly has the torque to push through the water without a problem and heavy enough to keep it from slipping as long as you don’t go too deep.
The first number in the IP rating indicates protection against dust and debris and goes up to 6, while the second number indicates protection against water, going all the way up to 9. Modern electric vehicles score an IP67. As such, near enough any modern electric vehicle will prevent water ingress while submerged at a depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes.
So no, your electric vehicle isn’t going to break down or explode if you drive in the rain, and yes, the Hummer EV is quite capable of fording a stream if you desire.
The Hummer EV also has an Extract Mode feature that lets you lift up the truck just a bit to get over obstacles, which comes in handy when going over water as it gives you an extra 6″ of clearance when you need it.
Here’s a breakdown of all the Hummer EV’s off-road specs:
|Terrain Mode||Extract Mode|
|Water Fording Depth||28"||32"|
|Front Suspension Travel||13"||13"|
|Rear Suspension Travel||13"||13"|
When Water Fording, Keep In Mind
As a rule of thumb, don’t just speed into a river. Driving through water requires that you know your vehicle’s abilities before you dive in. Driving through a puddle during rain can always be fun as long as you approximately know the depth of it and know that you won’t fall in a deep pothole that is hiding under there.
Before you dive your Hummer EV into a river, let’s take a look at a couple important points to know.
- Think, do you have any accessories installed that will be damaged by the water?
- Make sure the battery is charged enough so you can deal with the unexpected.
- Know how deep your Hummer can safely go (28″ in Terrain Mode / 32″ in Extract Mode)
- Ideally, you’ve crossed this spot on foot and are sure about the depth and any obstacles in your way.
- Think about the environment. Is you crossing going to affect any living things that may be living in the area?
- As you enter the water, keep moving and don’t stop until you are out.
- Be prepared in case you are going to need to be extracted. Have tow ropes available.
- Remember that the Hummer will float if you get deep enough and will get carried away, so know the depth that you are going through.
- Turn OFF the heater or A/C so id doesn’t suck the water into the air system.
- Brush up on off-road water fording techniques by watching this video.
GMC Hummer EV Leaks
Of course, despite the Hummer EV’s impressive specs, there are still a number of concerns that its customers have, especially with regard to its ability to handle fording, putting it in turbulent waters compared to competitors like the Rivian R1T and the Ford F-150.
Technical Service Bulletins
A technical service bulletin is essentially one step down from a safety recall. In this situation, an automaker advises dealerships of a quality problem and will fix the issue for free to keep the buyers happy. The Hummer EV has two of these.
The first was an issue in which water could get into an electrical connector and cause the system to go completely haywire. The second issue arose as a result of water entering through a gap in one of the A-pillar seals located between the windshield and front window.
If water getting into your Hummer wasn’t bad enough, this issue can cause the controls for the door locks, mirror adjustment, and power windows to malfunction. In rarer cases, customers reported that this issue activated the theft alert system or phantom alerts on the instrument panel.
Leaks on the I-Bar
One of the most irritating issues for customers to deal with (and a very hot topic on GMC Hummer EV forums) are leaky roof seals on the I-bar. Instead of draining water away from the car, these roof seals reportedly collect water, meaning that any time you want to take off any of the roof panels, you’ll get a free shower along with it or leakage inside the cabin.
Other users indicate that these roof seals don’t work properly at all, allowing a constant leak in the cabin. This is, as you might imagine, an absolute nightmare anytime there’s rain.
Poor A-Pillar Seals
As mentioned above, the subject of one of the Hummer EV’s service bulletins was a bad A-pillar seal. Its design allows for water to get through and interfere with the switch bank. According to the service bulletin, this issue is only present in 2022 models. Customers reported issues with the power windows, door locks, and side mirrors as a result of this issue.
High Voltage Connector Corrosion
Another concerning issue resulting in a Customer Satisfaction Program being initiated is related to the high voltage connector. Apparently, when the connector starts to corrode, it can allow water into the high voltage battery, creating serious issues. If this occurs, a Malfunction Indicator Light will show up on your instrument panel.
Fixing the Hummer EV’s Water Troubles
The silver lining of these defects is that all of these concerning issues with the Hummer EV can be rectified at your local dealership within a few hours for free. Then, they’ll do a leak test for corroded components and send you on your way.
As another positive note, GMC is completely swamped with their production of the Hummer EV, with wait times stretching out until 2024, so they’ve got plenty of time on their hands to fix these issues before the production scale gets ramped up significantly.
There’s a lot of good about the Hummer EV, and with an impressive 32” water fording depth, it’s no slouch in the off-road department. If the popularity of the vehicle in terms of units sold is anything to account for, people aren’t really too bothered about the water-related issues. Even so, they can be quite a pain to discover, especially in the rainy season.
If you’re looking into buying a Hummer EV, make sure that you keep these issues in mind and watch for them once you do get your electric vehicle.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.