General Motors today unveiled the GMC Hummer EV, its first electric pickup. The vehicle has a range of 350 miles, 1,000 horsepower and up to 11,500 pound-feet of torque (thanks to fuzzy calculations). And with a starting price of $ 80,000, that’s easily double the cost of a gasoline-powered pickup truck. Yes, it sort of looks like the Tesla Cybertruck.
Several key statistics surpass the others. Three motors in two Ultium drive units power the vehicle and it appears to have the longest battery of any GM vehicle with an electric powertrain. GM says the Hummer EV can hit 60 mph in about three seconds. It also has all-wheel steering, which allows it to drive diagonally in a mode called Crabwalk. There are removable roof panels, 35-inch tires, and an air suspension system that can raise the vehicle six inches.
Some details are still missing, notably the battery capacity, and the towing capacity. For truck buyers, the horsepower and torque numbers are secondary to what they mean in the real world. How much can the vehicle tow? How far can it go? How far can he go by pulling a trailer?
GM has ample time to answer these questions, and more. The Hummer EV isn’t coming anytime soon. GMC said the vehicle will be available for pre-order in 2021 and the vehicles will be available for delivery in 2022.
The Electric Hummer starts at $ 80,000. This gives buyers the Hummer EV2, a dual-engine version that lacks key advertised features. For $ 100,000, buyers can get the Hummer EV3x, which features three engines and torque vector steering. For $ 90,000 and a spring 2023 release date, buyers can get the EV2x, which includes air handling and four-wheel-drive steering.
The Hummer EV
The Hummer brand has long been synonymous with oversized vehicles, and this new incarnation is no different. It’s massive. Although GM has not revealed the full dimensions, it ships with 35-inch tires and is capable of 37-inch tires. It’s big.
GM has incorporated impressive technology into the Hummer EV. The Hummer EV is equipped with GM’s autonomous driving technology, Super Cruise, which allows the truck to drive partially autonomously. The battery is able to connect to an 800 volt charging system that will give the vehicle 100 miles or range within 10 minutes of charging. Buyers can order the Hummer EV with up to 18 cameras, including cameras placed under the vehicle to help with ground clearance.
It looks like GMC is positioning the Hummer EV as a near all-terrain pickup and SUV.
Inside, a 13.4-inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard. The driver’s gauge cluster is also digital, with a 12.3-inch display. Epic’s Unreal engine powers both displays, which feature top-notch animation. This technology is a huge step up from GM’s current infotainment system. However, the vehicle still has a lot of buttons, as functions such as air conditioning are separate from the screen.
The General’s Electric Age
The Hummer EV is a big step for General Motors and signals a change in the market. GM started its EV push in the ’90s with the EV1, which was revived in spirit with the Volt in 2010. GM released the little Chevy Bolt in 2017. None of these cars sold big. number, frankly, because they were irrelevant and, well, the cars. General Motors and others like Ford largely stopped developing cars as the market shifted to SUVs and pickup trucks. GM is overtaking the small commuter car with the Hummer EV in favor of a large pickup – a market segment GM is familiar with.
The Chevrolet Silverado joins the Ford F-150 and the Ram Pickup as the three best-selling vehicles in the United States. The three pickup trucks sold more than the following six vehicles combined. Trucks are a major market for American automakers, and the Hummer EV is clearly designed to test water. With a unibody construction, it’s easy to imagine General Motors also releasing an SUV version of the Hummer EV. This would follow GM’s recent roadmap of moving away from cars to SUVs and crossovers.
The unusual shape of the Hummer EV is testament to the technical limitations and is part of the reason why the GMC Hummer EV is not labeled as Chevy Silverado or GMC Serra. Much like the Tesla Cybertruck, the Hummer EV is likely based on a unibody construction similar to a passenger car. At this time, or rather early in the development of the Hummer EV, it is likely that GM could not produce a unibody pickup with the same key specifications for towing, cargo capacity and range of its pickups. Silverado. An electric Silverado (or Ford F-150) has to match its internal combustion counterpart in key areas – something the Hummer EV fails to do.
An electric Silverado is in the works. GM’s Mary Barra revealed the obvious in a 2019 interview. The automaker released just one detail about the upcoming pickup: According to a July 2020 financial document, the electric pickup will have a range of 400 miles.
General Motors has another electric pickup in the works thanks to a significant investment with Nikola. On September 8, General Motors announced a $ 2 million investment in Michigan-based Nikola Motors. Thanks to this investment, General Motors had access to Nikola’s electric vehicle development while agreeing to manufacture Nikola’s Badger pickup. However, the deal is called into question after fraud allegations led to the resignation of the company’s president.
GM abandoned the Hummer brand during the 2008 auto crisis. The monstrous H1 and H2 SUVs are largely remembered, the former being a civilian version of the Army Humvee and the latter being a premium SUV. Towards the end of Hummer’s life, the company offered a pickup version of its smaller H3 model.
GMC Hummer EV vs. Tesla Cybertruck
Comparisons between the Hummer EV and the Tesla Cybertrucks are inevitable. Much of the Cybertruck is still speculation and GM has not revealed any key details about the Hummer EV. Tesla unveiled the so-called super truck 11 months ago and has been pretty quiet about the vehicle ever since. In May, Elon Musk tweeted that the production version of the Cybertruck will likely be roughly the same size as the prototype.
At the time of the Cybertruck’s reveal, Tesla said it would be available starting at $ 39,000 for a single-engine version capable of pulling 7,500 pounds and going 250 miles on a charge. A two-engine and three-engine AWD version would also be available for $ 49,000 and $ 69,000, respectively. It’s unclear if those pricing or specs will be true when Tesla releases the Cybertruck.
The Tesla Cybertruck and the GMC Hummer EV share a lot in common, including a unibody construction that gives vehicles their unusual look. The Hummer EV and Cybertruck both feature unique C-pillars that act like a flying buttress. These pillars add significant strength to the vehicle and compensate for the unibody design.
Typically, pickup trucks are built in two parts: the body is placed on a chassis. This is done for several reasons, but most notably here because a frame can withstand the significant torsion caused by the transmission going from the front axle to the rear. And in an electric vehicle, truck or car, there is no transmission connecting the front and rear axles. This allows automakers to use a lighter unibody construction, which is often safer for occupants. However, these bodies should be as rigid as possible to facilitate towing and transport. Honda addressed this design with the Ridgeline unibody pickup.
Truck buyers have different expectations
The Hummer EV is a milestone for General Motors as it moves into the electric future. Some buyers are not ready for electric vehicles, and truck buyers could be among the most difficult demographic groups to convince.
Following the Tesla Cybertruck reveal in 2019, the company hung a prototype on the tow bar of a new Ford F-150. The test was largely missed, as many pointed out the flaws that resulted in Cybertruck’s victory. Tesla was trying to demonstrate that his truck, while electric, can still do truck stuff. GMC will likely use similar feats of strength, including commercials with gruff men providing a voiceover while the Hummer EV tows a boat.
Truck buyers expect several things. First, the truck needs to have a firm stance, which the Hummer EV has in packages. Second, most truck buyers look at towing capacity even if they never tow anything. The towing capacity of trucks is very similar to the horsepower of sports cars – the more the better, even if not in use. And towing capacity is only partially dictated by the power output of the powertrain. The rest comes from the design of the platform and how it can handle the pulling weight. It’s unclear at this point whether the Hummer EV, even with its crazy 1,000 horsepower, will be able to tow a Silverado or an F-150.
The Hummer falls short in several essential categories for pickup truck buyers: range and carrying capacity.
The vans come with large fuel tanks giving them incredible range. For example, my 2016 Ford F-150 has a 32 gallon tank. If driven carefully, the truck can travel 700 miles on a single tank. When towing a trailer, the range is halved, but exceeds 300 miles on a tank. GMC claims the Hummer has a range of 350, but has yet to report the range when towing a 7,000 travel trailer.
The electric pick-up war
With a release date of 2022, the Hummer EV is far from a safe bet. GM has ample time to rework the machine, adding or shrinking the lineup as technology improves prior to release.
GM also has competition. The race for electric pickups has only just begun and Ford has the most to lose.
The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the US market for generations. The truck is the foundation of Ford’s success. In 2019, the company released a video demonstration of an early prototype electric powertrain capable of pulling (note: do not tow) 1 million pounds. To support its efforts, Ford has invested hundreds of millions in Michigan-based Rivian, maker of an electric pickup platform. Recent reports question the viability of this partnership, but Ford is likely working full steam ahead towards its electric pickup trucks.
Auto startups are also planning to build electric pickup trucks. Rivian intends to build and sell his own pickups and SUVs. Lordstown Motors, a Lordstown, Ohio company, revealed its pickup design in June and said it would cost $ 52,000. And there is more: Bollinger Motors, Workhorse and Nikola.
Electric pickups are ripe for an electric takeover, and GM just threw in a hammer the size of a Hummer.