General Motors is straightforward. 2022 The GMC Hummer EV, a full-size electric pickup, competed from computer monitors to machined high-speed production to compete with Teslas, Rivian’s and others’ plans to build their own electric truck.
GMC Hummer EV’s chief engineer Al Oppenheiser, who spent most of his career developing the Camaros, said 20 months ago that he was asked by GM’s management to bring the Camaro charisma to the electric vehicle program to give it an adrenaline rush to better fight the 2021 Tesla Cybertruck and the 2021 Rivian R1T, both of which had created a lot of buzz. (Not to be outdone, Ford is developing an electric F-150.) Oppenheiser’s work began in April 2019 on a full-size truck that GM wanted in production in the fall of 2021. In other words, release about two years from GM’s normal development time. It became known as Project O for “obtainium”, a play on “U.N.verkrijgenium, “an internal phrase / excuse used by teams at GM when presented with seemingly impossible tasks.
Tap Camaro and Corvette Teams
The high-speed electric truck project required unconventional means, at least for GM. Oppenheiser listened to members of the Camaro and Corvette teams: They knew how to make a vehicle run fast, but also how to quickly create a halo vehicle with lower volume. They even used the Camaro and Corvette performance studio. The development team also had truck and off-road experts.
As intended, it was unconventional from the beginning. The team worked backwards from the production date and relied on computerized tools and simulations to create, construct and test the emerging truck. There was no time for a series of physical prototypes.
No shortcuts for GMC Hummer chassis
The digital approach helped, as the team eventually wanted to make a whole new platform. Of course, the easiest way to save time would have been to recycle the existing truck architecture used by Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra full-size pickups and replace the driveline with batteries and electric motors. But the body-on-frame architecture would not accommodate the battery packs needed for the desired range – about 350 miles on a single charge – let alone power a truck with more than 1,000 horsepower and about 11,500 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, gives it the ability to drive 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds. Engineers did not want to build a battery bar high on top of the frame rails, says Oppenheiser.
The team took “Project O” to GM’s advanced technology group, with their hats in hand, and looked for a new structure for a full-size pickup and the subsequent GMC Hummer SUV that would give them picks both on and off-road. The answer was GM’s new electric vehicle architecture that uses Ultium batteries developed with LG Chem and to be built in Ohio.
The architecture provides a structural steel sandwich with batteries protected between steel plates that allows for independent front and rear suspension and provides the suspension travel and lower abdomen ring needed for off-road driving. The Hummer is an electric off-road vehicle with a range of about 350 km on one charge.
Take back the controversial Hummer name
The team wanted to make a splash worthy of the fresh architecture and the trucks they would produce on it. The halo of the electric truck program therefore deserved a prominent name. The emphasis on ability evoked the Hummer name, which dates back to 1992 and is derived from the military Humvee. GM bought the Hummer brand from AM General in 1999 and sold a family of tough, boxy SUVs – and their H2T and H3T pickup offspring – before GM discontinued the brand in 2010 as part of its downsizing after filing for bankruptcy.
Lobster was a polarizing brand. Some loved its robustness and military roots. others saw the 8-mpg gas-swallows as poster children to harm the environment just as consumers hugged Prius hybrids during the recession-era gas-price peaks.
“We decided to take the name and make a believer of all,” Oppenheiser said. The Hummer brand is still gone, but the decision was made to give the GMC brand some models with the Hummer name. The first vehicles from GM’s new electric truck architecture will be the GMC Hummer EV SUT (the sports truck discussed here), eventually followed by the GMC Hummer SUV. The architecture will also produce a full-size electric pickup for Chevrolet. And there will be full-size SUVs for the Cadillac brand.
Edition 1 is the only option for the 2022 GMC Hummer
During the first year, GM will offer a single variant of the 2022 GMC Hummer, Edition 1. With a starting price of $ 112,595, the rig for the first year model with limited driving is the highest performance version with three electric motors: two opposite motors at the rear and a third motor at the front.
It is in the following years that GMC will add more affordable Hummers with two or three engines and fewer goodies. You will still be able to get an Edition 1 under the 2023 model. And GM is now accepting reservations for all models, including the Hummer EV3X coming in the fall of 2022 with three engines, torque vector and a performance launch mode with a starting price of $ 99,995. In the spring of 2023, GMC will add the twin-engine Hummer EV2X from $ 89,995. The Hummer EV2 base will go on sale in the spring of 2024 with a starting price of $ 79,995.
What color you want as long as it is white
All Edition 1 models come in the same way: White on the bottom, black from the belt line and upwards. It is part of the go-fast strategy to get the truck to market quickly by reducing complexity. Do you want color? Wait for the 2023 model. But it will be part of the signature look that all trucks will have black painted tops, regardless of body color.
Edition 1 comes with pretty much everything as standard including 18-inch wheels and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires, rocksliders, independent and adaptive suspension, active dampers, four-wheel steering, short overhangs and special marks on the dashboard and home screen. It also has the latest version of GM’s Super Cruise feature that provides hands-free semi-autonomous highway driving. The roof panels come loose and there is a powerful rear drip glass and power tonneau cover.
GMC Lobster Made in Michigan
2022 GMC Hummer will be built in a redesigned factory in Detroit-Hamtramck that has been renamed Factory Zero and will only build electric vehicles, including the Hummer SUT and SUV, Cruise Origin (which is a self-driving, car-sharing, van-pod that takes six passengers), and probably the Chevy full-size electric pickup and Cadillac full-size electric SUV.
The first body-in-white Hummer prototypes will roll off the line this week. When the unpainted body structures get through the paint shop, the final trim and roll off the line as finished vehicles, the first Hummer will be sent for winter testing and the next ones will be sent south for testing as desert runners, says Oppenheiser.
Hummer’s first electric pickup on the market?
GM believes it will be the first standard electric pickup to hit the market. The importance of the project kept it on the extremely tight schedule despite a 46-day work stoppage during a strike in 2019 and then the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 that forced engineers to work from home.
Tesla said it would release the single-engine Cyber truck at the end of 2021 with the twin-engine four-wheel drive model and the three-engine version that will follow at the end of 2022. But Tesla has a history of not meeting its deadlines. Rivian initially hoped to have the R1T electric pickup in production in December 2021, but it was postponed back to June 2021. Rivian bought the former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, and has driveable prototypes that come from the line of testing.
Ford has a new factory under construction in the Rouge complex to deliver the 2022 Ford F-150 electric pickup in June 2022. The battery-electric F-150 is in addition to the 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid which is added to the range as part of its latest redesign. If all goes well, Hummer’s aggressive development schedule will have paid off.