GMC did the right thing in resurrecting the Hummer nameplate. First seen in 1992 as a civilian version of the M998 Humvee for the U.S. military, the original Hummer H1 was an all-conquering beast. Inadvertently, it also became the ultimate symbol of conspicuous consumption, no thanks to its burly Detroit Diesel V8 motor, which only mustered 10 mpg on a good day.
And as such, this vulgar image trickled down to the Hummer H2 and H3, with the latter ending production in May 2010. Ten years on, General Motors is reviving the Hummer name, and it couldn’t have come at a better time given America’s propensity (and the rest of the world) for trucks and SUVs. As seen from pre-production images and videos during the recent launch, the all-new Hummer EV is as big, aggressive, and intimidating as its forefathers. But unlike the old-timers, the new Hummer is entering this age with an all-electric powertrain.
“The all-new GMC Hummer EV will be the first of its breed – an open-air, all-electric super truck with zero emissions and zero limits,” said Al Oppenheiser, Hummer EV chief engineer. “It will have the capability to go almost anywhere, on or off-road, combining screaming performance with a nearly silent ride.”
“Whether driving on the highway or climbing over rocks, the Hummer EV will be configurable for driver preferences,” added Aaron Pfau, Hummer EV lead development engineer. “It’s an incredibly personalized and engaging driving experience that makes the full capability of the vehicle simple and comfortable to use.”
My colleague Nancy Dunham wrote an excellent piece on the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1, the one fully loaded with three electric motors, an e4WD system, and a double-stacked Ultium battery pack. It has all the goodies you might expect from a monster truck like 35-inch Wrangler Territory mud tires, adaptive air suspension, and underbody cladding. The first edition Hummer EV will be the most expensive of the lot, ringing in at a base price of around $112,595. It’ll be the first of the Hummer EV family to arrive later next year.
With a full stack of electrons, the tri-motor Hummer EV produces 1,000 horsepower and a bewildering 11,500 lb-ft. of torque, enough to propel the electric behemoth to 60 mph in three seconds with the powertrain in WTF mode (that’s Watts to Freedom, thank you) and the propulsion system operating at full capacity.
However, that gargantuan torque figure isn’t exactly the full story. That giant number, as Motor Trend explains, is coming from the wheels and not the output shafts. Misleading or not, the tri-motor GMC Hummer EV remains as impressive as it looks.
Ultium 800-Volt Electrical Architecture
According to GMC, the Hummer EV’s Ultium batteries are unique with a large, pouch style cell arrangement, which can be stacked vertically or horizontally. Ultium batteries contain the highest nickel and lowest cobalt content of large-format pouch cells. Equipped with a 24-module battery pack, the Edition 1 Hummer EV is suitable for an estimated driving range of over 350 miles. It also supports DC fast-charging up to 350 kW with its 800-volt electrical architecture.
“As the first of GM’s next-gen EVs, the Hummer EV will fundamentally alter conventional off-road and truck paradigms,” said Ken Morris, GM vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs. “It will also debut new technology, including our all-new Ultium batteries, Ultium Drive units, and the industry’s first wireless battery management system.”
Additionally, the Hummer EV’s battery pack can automatically switch from its native 400-volts to 800-volts while simultaneously shifting from parallel to series without requiring a converter box or other charging accessories. This means having the ability to charge the Hummer EV on various charging stations without the guesswork associated with other EVs.
And if you do have access to a 350 kW fast-charging station, the Hummer EV can add around 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes of charging. It also has Regen On Demand to trickle charge the batteries when braking.
Hands-Free Driving? You Bet!
The new GMC Hummer EV will come standard with an updated version of Super Cruise with advanced LiDAR map data and a breakthrough driver attention system. The Hummer EV will have three years of Super Cruise service available for use on more than 200,000 miles of compatible roads in the U.S. and Canada.
No Carpets, No Problem
Unlike GMC’s lineup of fossil-powered trucks and SUVs, the new Hummer EV will roll out of showrooms with no interior carpets. Instead, you get a bare vinyl floor topped with rubberized mats that are easier to clean. The flooring is also made from recycled materials.
“Hummer EV will offer a refined and rugged interior for owners who want something fresh and new, yet capable enough to get dirty and handle what you throw at it,” said Brett Golliff, Hummer EV color and trim manager. “Everything we did, from visibility and seating to feature control location, was done to enhance the overall driving experience both on and off-road.”
The textured cabin design features a 12.3-inch diagonal instrument display and a 13.4-inch infotainment screen. The GMC Hummer EV has a two-tier front floor console, a lockable glove box, and multiple cubby holes/storage bins throughout the cabin.
Hummer EV: Spearheading GM’s Electric Assault
We’re tremendously impressed with the 2022 GMC Hummer EV. Besides the Edition 1’s six-figure base price, our only objection is the long wait. At the moment, GMC is working overtime in finishing a fully-functioning prototype model of the Hummer EV, while the lower-priced variants with twin electric motors are not arriving until 2022 and 2024, at the earliest.
Keep in mind; competitors are not resting on their laurels. Rivian is currently working on its R1T pickup, while Tesla’s single-motor RWD version of its space-age Cybertruck is arriving later next year. The same holds true for other manufacturers like Bollinger and Lordstown. However, none of those have the lineage of the Hummer.
The original Humvee H1 – along with the H2 and H3, for this matter – entered the market at the wrong time, just when consumers were shifting their focus towards better fuel economy and a lower cost of ownership. But for the new GMC Hummer EV, the timing couldn’t be better, or so it seems. It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out this time around.
Initial production is set to begin later this year at GM’s new Factory ZERO in Detroit.
Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.