Far back in the Before Times, during the February Super Bowl, the GMC hinted that an electric Hummer would come. Now, it’s here (for pre-order).
The company presented Hummer EV on Tuesday with a commercial in which Lebron James indicated that this truck is about “not seeing the world as it is but how it could be”, and a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” as a backtrack to the films of new Hummer absolutely crushes it in nature. It is clear that GMC is investing in eye-catching consumption as a climate solution. Still, it is the attitude that got us into the climate crisis, and hitting an electric motor of 1,000 horsepower in it is the vehicle-like design of putting lipstick on a pig.
I’m not a “gear tip” or a “vroom vroom dude” (official car terms), so I will leave it to Jalopnik to break down the Hummer EV specifications. Instead, I offer you the perspective “climate guy”. In two words: this sucks.
The original Hummer was intended as a way for civilians to play war, driving around a street-friendly version of Humvee, a war machine used to plunder foreign lands for riches. Humvee was an important tool in the Iraq war, a catastrophic conflict created to take control of oil. In a nice symmetry, sales of Hummer increased during the first years of the war, which blocked suburban roads with the unnecessary battlefield-ready mass. The decline in sales also reflected the war, with purchases falling from a cliff in 2008, as well as public opinion on the Iraq war and the global economy as oil prices soared.
In it Lobster is the perfect analogy for late-stage capitalism: a waste of space, a devouring gas monster that destroys the planet, based on the design of a vehicle designed to help dead people abroad and advance U.S. foreign policy goals to secure access to oil and natural resources for the free market to then feed on. Forgive me if I wished the Lobster had remained dead. But unfortunately I do not drive GMC.
The world does not need an electric truck, the first edition of which costs $ 112,595. The scale of the climate crisis requires us to electrify everything, quickly. A luxury monster truck that goes 0-60 mph in 3 seconds is cool and all, but it will not meaningfully speed up electrifying transport. Lobster EV punch may indicate that GMC announced that the pre-sale had sold out, but that does not really matter because the company does not say how many people deposited money, and the deposit of $ 100 is fully refundable.
To speed up the electrification of personal transport, the best thing companies can do is launch cheap electric cars. What’s wild is that GM, the parent company of GMC, has already produced one cool, popular electric car that fits that bill. The Hong Guang MINI EV is available in China for just over $ 4,100. The average American drive 31 miles a day (at least before the pandemic), which is less than half the interval for this little guy. It is the perfect solution for daily emission-free personal travel, and yet the company does not sell it in the United States.
Can the Hummer EV get someone who would never be caught dead in a Chevy Bolt to buy an electric vehicle? Sure! I fully understand the value of, say, an electric pickup that upcoming F-150 makes a lot of sense for workers who need a pickup to, uh, work. But the Hummer EV is not, and GM could do so much more about it instead of retouching and dealing with masculinity troops, went all-in and imagined a whole new future for electric cars in the United States. Right now, in the midst of an economic downturn that is markedly similar to 2008 but driven by a pandemic, it may be perfectly positioned to boost the car market and usher in a new era of transportation. Instead, GM is investing in maintaining the status quo.
In fact, the Hummer EV is the exact opposite of LeBron’s line about seeing the world as it could be and that the SUV is a car of and for “real revolutionaries”. A truly revolutionary strategy for climate-friendly transport is to think of smaller vehicles that do not dominate the road. Or if you want to get even more ˚ * ･ ༓ ☾ revolutionary ☽ ༓ ･ * ˚, then we should reduce the number of passenger vehicles on the road altogether open streets to alternative modes of transport and recreation while investing in public transport instead of building more roads. It would reduce congestion, improve people’s quality of life and be even better for the climate.
Even if we take the GMC at Lebron’s words that this is a revolution, it looks like a really shitty one that will preserve existing problems from inequality to terrorizing nature. The ad announcing the Hummer EV is all about subjugating the natural world and, as the non-Lebron part of the voiceover puts it, “innovation designed to ensure dominance.”
In the ad, the Hummer EV sweeps up dunes, climbs rocky cliffs and rolls into a field by an asparagus grove. Again, dominant nature is the exact attitude that has ended up in the middle of the sixth mass extinction that could also take civilization with it. And this is where the Hummer EV-led revolution begins to take on a darker hue. There is more than one scent of dystopia around its features, including “lower body armor” or “ultravision” thanks to 18 cameras mounted on the truck, including underneath. The truck also has crabwalk mode to slide diagonally through gaps that are narrower than its bulky frame and a wide turning radius can pass frontally. It has “extraction mode”, a name that refers to hostage situations and is basically a way to give the truck a few inches of extra space to climb over a pile of rocks or perhaps the bodies of those who are not lucky enough to own a GMC Hummer EV for to get them through the climate apocalypse.
They all sound like great features to protect you from the looting hordes as the decades-long drought and relentless heat transforms the southwest into Galna Max. And they definitely give you a chance to fight if you roll up someone in Tesla’s Cybertruck, another drive to masculinity and climate apocalypse.