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The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

The Student News Site of Summit High School

The Summit Pinnacle

Tesla. Rivian. Hummer.

Who comes out on top as the electric truck front runner?

With Tesla’s new CyberTruck finally hitting the roads, it’s time to look at the three new electric trucks that are breaking the mold in automotive design. Are they worth the hype, or the hate? 

I’ve decided to only look at the GMC Hummer EV, the Rivian R1T and the Tesla CyberTruck because when you look at the other electric trucks coming to market—such as the Ford F150 Lightning—it’s basically the exact same truck. Nothing too special or notable in terms of design and functionality which also makes it very attractive to many. These three, however, are different for one of two reasons. One, the CyberTruck and R1T are both completely new concepts for the truck market with nothing like them before, both in terms of design and user experience. Two, the Hummer is the last car you’d ever expect to electrify and even underwent a complete redesign, getting improved suspension, a completely refreshed interior and the new drivetrain.

I’ll start with the fact that there are over two million CyberTruck pre-orders, which I think speaks for itself when I say the fridge on wheels is going to be popular. Neither the R1T or the Hummer had anywhere near these numbers, but is it truly reflective? Tesla has a habit of rushing R&D to get their cars to market and that process comes with its flaws. If you look at any early production Tesla review, you will see hundreds of angry complaints of panel gaps, software bugs, broken doors and so on. This is completely true with the CyberTruck: it has its fair share of bugs, physical and digital, to say the least. This is not to say the R1T and the Hummer don’t have their flaws, but I haven’t seen anything about windshield wipers flopping around.

The Hummer EV

I’ve driven the Hummer and can comfortably say it’s a $100,000 toy. It is impressive though, spanning almost eight feet wide with almost 16 inches of ground clearance. The four-wheel steering takes time to get used to, but makes getting around worlds easier, as it turns more like a small SUV at slow speeds. 

Like anything new, though, it definitely comes with its cons. Its interior is surprisingly cheap, and feels low end. The door handles wiggle, and some of the finishes feel plastic-y. It does beat the other trucks by having Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which neither the Rivian or Tesla have in any of their cars. Credit has to be given to the very tactile interior though; neither Tesla or Rivian love to put real buttons, but GMC has kept a perfect balance between digital readouts and real, touchable buttons which is a really nice touch for an EV because most manufacturers have done away with most buttons for their electric line-ups. Overall, it rides nice, is easy to drive and is an easy transition for any current GM owner. It’s a toy, but a very impressive one. 


The R1T

The most “normal” in terms of the flashy-ness of the lineup, Rivian’s first-generation electric truck has gone on to please many people and annoy others. The majority of reviews, however, are positive. In my brief experience with the car, its systems were responsive and reliable, and despite not having good phone integration, the screen and infotainment system was one of the best I’ve ever used. 

Everything functioned as promised, and it felt quality and rugged, yet comfortable. Its onboard air compressor and 120 volt outlet makes any day at the lake or hitting the trails easier. It comes with an air hose that can reach all four tires for easy roadside service. Its ride comfort is impeccable, and it has flexible suspension that allows it to go anywhere and do anything the range allows. The R1T’s technology is constantly being improved via over-the-air updates which allows Rivian to improve every car with a push of a button, like a patch for a video game. Every couple weeks, they combine all user feedback and push out what they can to make their vehicles continually better. 

There’s always grievances with any new car, and aside from the lack of Apple Carplay or Android Auto, another issue many new owners are experiencing is that if you are using your phone or the wristband key, the truck can’t decide when to auto lock/unlock, and if you’re within 15 feet of it, it will lock and unlock intermittently. That aside, Rivian has pushed the boundaries of electric design and hasn’t backed off. I look forward to what they bring to the future. 

The CyberTruck

Here’s where I have to turn to the internet for help. I’ve only seen it once in person and have my own grudges from that experience, but I’ll let the real world testers speak for the rest. 

The CyberTruck is certainly a headturner, much to the dismay of many new owners who have almost been hit by distracted onlookers. Tesla has made many claims of impressive range, capability and technology which seem to only partly hold up. The Cybertruck comes in three trimlines: the basic being the rear wheel drive model, the dual motor all-wheel drive, and the impressive tri-motor CyberBeast. The range without the seemingly mythical range extender comes in at about 330 miles max, which is about on par with other electric trucks and SUVs. 

The new steer-by-wire system comes with its pros and cons, with an Edmunds’s car review reporting it as unnatural and sensitive but effective. As far as the interior is concerned, it’s a Tesla—no buttons and an on-screen shifter. As far as my own opinion, I got to do an exterior walkaround on a Foundation Series model and was honestly surprised with the quality of the exterior finishes. The panel gaps were abundant around the headlights, and many metal edges were not deburred (sharp, uneven finish). It’s minimalistic to the extreme, which I would have thought Tesla would change for a truck. Regardless, it’s an impressive display of engineering and design. 

Honorable Mention 

I have to briefly mention the F-150 Lightning, because it stands out from its EV peers. Almost indistinguishable from its gasoline counterparts, the Lightning boasts 320 miles of range, and 10,000 lbs towing capacity. It’s a rock-solid option for any truck owner looking to be a little more eco-friendly and still drive a Ford. 


This debate will never truly be over as it’s a matter of taste and personal preference in the end. While the CyberTruck and the Hummer EV have certainly proven themselves as highly capable and impressive vehicles, the Rivian R1T has shown extreme versatility, comfort and performance for the lowest average price tag. All of these points go to show the effort and thought that was put into bringing the best possible product to users looking to push the boundaries of technology, keep advancing the automotive world and have a blast doing it. 

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About the Contributor
Aidan Goldman
Aidan Goldman, Staff Writer

Conqueror of the nothingness, Aidan prides himself on his professional procrastination.

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