GM tears up rule book for electric vehicles with Hummer EV Pickup

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – We’ve seen the pictures, watched the videos, read the early reports. But having now driven the GMC Hummer EV pickup from towbrips to deep terrain trails, with a few hands-free freeway miles in between, it’s safe to say that General Motor’s first offering from its Ultium platform is nothing but a mechanical marvel.

Yes, it is a giant that weighs reported 9,063 lbs. (4 111 kg), far beyond all light vehicles. Yes, a battery-powered vehicle bearing the Hummer brand can seem the opposite of everything environmentally friendly. And yes, very few people need or can afford a BEV that stickers with the six digits.

All that said, GM’s recent approach to the BEV market may be most meaningful compared to previous fluctuations and misses (or almost misses). The carmaker in Detroit has a long and checkered history in electrification, with EV1 BEV’s life – and what critics have claimed was the untimely death. The subsequent extended range Chevrolet Volt / Cadillac ELR hybrids are more examples of programs that produced fantastic vehicles but which may have been scrapped before their expiration date.

So far, the Chevy Bolt EV and Bolt EUV live on, but on borrowed time until the expansion of the Ultium platform makes their architecture obsolete.
Cutaway unveils Hummer EV’s 24-module stacked battery pack.

So why does a Hummer EV make sense? Here’s how: BEV cars are prohibitively expensive, and they will remain so until the cost of batteries drops enough to make electric powertrains competitive with combustion power. Even with government incentives, which in their current form are rapidly disappearing as every carmaker exceeds the EV sales limits built into these programs, the prices of stickers remain high.

So why not accept the inevitable: that BEV cars can be expensive, and build one that comes with every conceivable option and a sticker price to support it?

GMC spokesman Chad Lyons says the six-digit Hummer EV is at the forefront of the introduction of GM’s Ultium architecture, which includes battery and engine technologies that will underpin a range of electric cars within GM’s portfolio, covering vehicles with a wide range of sizes and segment.

“GM was determined to establish a halo strategy with a vehicle like the GMC Hummer EV first to showcase and set the stage for what Ultium can do,” explains Lyons.

“This trickle-down strategy is the right approach to build credibility and prove the capabilities of Ultium and the vehicles it will support. For example, customers will understand and appreciate that the battery chemistry of a supercar like the Hummer EV is exactly the same battery chemistry. used in a vehicle such as the Chevrolet Equinox EV. “

Lyons adds that the landscape for electric vehicles has changed dramatically since the first Volt arrived in 2010. The charging infrastructure has been expanded and improved with fast charging options, and the cost of electric cars has decreased. About 70% of Hummer EV protesters are new to electric cars, he says.

“Expensive electric cars when the Chevrolet Volt was first launched probably would not have been well received,” Lyons told Wards. “Now, however, it’s time for a strategy that GM has chosen, with astonishing vehicles at the top of our innovation offering, leading the way and setting the pace for the significant electric car transformation that GM is about to embark on.”

On-Road, Off-Road, On Track, Lobster EV Surprises

We expected the Hummer EV to excel in terrain and build on the legacy of the brand’s former petrol-powered giants that could crawl and climb over almost any obstacle. But we did not foresee how capable the same machine would be when driving on the road and on the road.

On the track, in a lobster? GMC set up a straight-line traction strip to showcase the Hummer EV’s Watts to Freedom zero-to-insane speed capability, and it’s hard to really describe the acceleration intoxication that occurs when the vehicle starts. All four tires paw for traction in a way that sounds as if the pavement is shredded underfoot and the machine dazzlingly explodes to 60 mph (97 km / h) in 3 seconds and crosses all legal limits one or two heartbeats after that.

The large mass and upright posture of the Hummer EV are reminiscent of the kind of speed we have experienced in the bank vault Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG or Ford F-150 Lightning (the compressor-powered V-8 version of old, not electric pickup. More to come the). We are not sure where and when the owner can show this to his friends, but hey, “FREEDOM!”

Out on the highway and running to a terrain area, the Hummer EV runs amazingly quiet and steady despite its gigantic 35-inches. Goodyear Wrangler Territory rubber. The vehicle has the latest version of the hands-free Super Cruise, which allows automatic lane changes with a flick of the turn signal lever when conditions allow. In our tests, this version of Super Cruise turns out to be smooth and capable.2022-GMC-HUMMER-EV interiorThe cockpit offers excellent command and control.

Of course, off-road is where its predecessor Hummer created its reputation and the electric version carries on that tradition, with some unique twists. Literally. There is nothing like driving a vehicle with these dimensions, with its low speed, primed 4-wheel steering, to skillfully dance around boulders and other obstacles.

It can feel annoying at first, as if the chassis and body have come loose, but you get used to it. And that’s before you switch to the CrabWalk, which turns the rear wheels up to 10 degrees, in phase with the fronts, to allow the vehicle to turn sideways with surprising dexterity.

Although relatively robust, the trails we toured here rarely tested the Hummer EV’s capabilities; once or twice we hit the front e-cabinet just to get a little more grip on some loose gravel in sharp uphill slopes.

GMC notes that the Hummer EV is capable of 800V, 350 kW DC fast charging, adding 100 miles (161 km) in 12 minutes or charging its 2,000 lbs. (907 kg) nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) battery from zero to 80% in 40 minutes.

That level of fast charging can come in handy, given that during our test drive, the vehicle consumed 1 kWh of power for every 1.6 miles (2.6 km) traveled, placing it at the lower end of the miles / kWh scale. Most BEV cars we have tested can handle about 4.8 km per kWh.

With a range of 329 miles (529 km), with a 400V, 24-module battery pack that sends juice to three engines (single front, dual engine rear) that produce a total of 1,000 hp and 1,200 lb.ft. (1,627 Nm) of torque, the Hummer EV really carries the brand’s legacy of being the largest, worst off-road car. But with zero emissions and quiet running, does the Hummer EV (along with some electrified Jeep offers) write about the rules for off-road driving?

Says GMC’s Lyons: “No zero-emission vehicles should be considered in violation of ‘environmental claims’.”2023 GMC Hummer EV specifications

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