Author: Eric Walz
General Motors is poised to make a big splash with one of the most anticipated electric vehicle launches in the auto industry in 2021. The Detroit automaker announced Tuesday that the first deliveries of the resurrected Hummer EV electric truck will begin in December.
The top-of-the-line “Edition 1” Hummer will launch first and have a range of 329 miles, Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick-GMC sales, said on a conference call Tuesday.
Reservations for Edition 1 are sold out.
Edition 1 will also be the most expensive version of the Hummer, with an MSRP of $105,595. But more affordable Hummer models that will offer longer ranges will launch in 2023, Aldred said. GM is also launching an SUV version of the Hummer, which should be available in early 2023 as well.
Following the Edition 1, GM will launch the Hummer EV3X and EV2X in spring 2023, with an estimated MSRP of $99,995 and $89,995, respectively. Each will offer ranges in excess of 300 miles, according to GM.
The most affordable model will be the Hummer EV2, with an MSRP of $79,995. But the EV2 won’t be available until spring 2024.
GM’s launch of the new Hummer pickup and companion SUV will put the automaker in direct competition with EV startup Rivian, which is now worth more than GM and Ford with a market cap just under $100 billion after launching its long-awaited IPO on November 10.
Rivian’s model range includes the rugged R1T pickup and the R1S electric SUV, which is ready to compete with the various Hummer models.
GM announced the return of the Hummer nameplate in January 2020 and the electric truck was unveiled in a high-profile Superbowl weeks later.
The Hummer EV is apparently aimed at truck buyers and will be released under GM’s GMC truck brand. GM is marketing the Hummer EV as an all-new electric “super truck” with its impressive horsepower, torque and acceleration, as well as its incredible on- and off-road capability and near-silent electric motors.
With its 1,000 horsepower electric powertrain, the Hummer EV will offer 11,500 lb-ft of torque and can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.5 seconds, an impressive feat for such a heavy vehicle.
History of lobsters
GM bought the Hummer name from heavy-duty truck maker AM General in 1998 and produced three versions of it over the years. The huge original Hummer H1 was based on the US military Humvee built by AM General. Two smaller versions named the H2 and H3, which were built on GM’s more practical consumer truck platforms.
At the time, the gas-powered Hummers received a lot of criticism for their poor fuel economy and impracticality. The Hummer H1 and H2, for example, averaged less than 13 mpg and were sold because rival automakers were building much more fuel-efficient vehicles, including smaller SUVs.
GM tried unsuccessfully to sell the Hummer brand after its bankruptcy in 2009 as a result of the 2008-2009 recession. However, after failing to find a buyer, GM retired the Hummer brand in February 2010. The last Hummer H3 rolled off the line at GM’s Shreveport Assembly and Stamping Plant in Shreveport, Louisiana on May 24, 2010. The plant eventually closed in August 2012 .
Now the Hummer is being reinvented as a purely electric truck. Depending on how affordable GM can make the Hummer and still turn a profit, the vehicle has the potential to be a blockbuster. Hummer’s launch comes as consumer interest in electric trucks increases, boosted by Rivian and the upcoming Ford F-150 Lighting. GM also plans to introduce an electric version of the popular Silverado pickup truck next year.
The Hummer EV represents GM’s commitment to its electric future. But it also shows how valuable the truck and SUV segment is to the company.
Instead of losing highly profitable truck sales from consumers switching to more fuel-efficient and electric vehicles, GM appeared to have found a viable solution to retain profits by making electric versions of its most popular truck models.
The only question that remains is whether consumers will want to buy GM’s electric trucks, or continue to buy gas-powered GM vehicles.
The Hummer is built at GM’s Factory Zero with a focus on sustainable manufacturing. The company is investing $2.2 billion in the facility for retooling and upgrades to build new EVs at scale.
The investment in Factory Zero is the single largest investment in an automotive assembly plant in the automaker’s history and is part of GM’s $35 billion investment in electrification and autonomous driving technology.
Both of the upcoming GMC HUMMER EVs are built on GM’s new Ultium battery platform, which the automaker revealed in March 2020. The Ultium EV platform will support a wide range of new GM electric vehicles, including cars and trucks and serve as the core platform for GM: s future electric cars.