THE HUMMER IS BACK BABY!!! If you loved the original Hummers, this new version is more than twice as powerful as an H2 and has the same exact style! And if you hated the original Hummers because they were gas-guzzlers, you got nothing to worry about! The new Hummer is coming out under the GMC badge and is set to be fully electric!
WHAAAAATT?!?!?!?!? You heard me! A thousand-horsepower Hummer that’s going to run 100% on batteries! In this article, and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about the up-and-coming Hummer EV!
So, let’s go back to the very beginning of the Hummer’s history. This car first hit the market when AM General started marketing a civilian version of the military truck Humvee back in 1992. GM apparently liked the idea of selling armored trucks to everyday commuters, because they bought up the brand in 1998 and rolled out the first version of the Hummer, which looked more or less like it belonged on the battlefield. The later versions of the Hummer, the H2 and H3, looked a bit more suitable for your neighborhood streets,
But as I’m sure you know, their absolutely atrocious fuel economy made them a target for environmentalists. So much so that someone actually set fire to 20 Hummers at a dealership in Los Angeles back in 2003. The Hummer kept kickin’ though, even through GM’s bankruptcy in 2008, and it wasn’t until 2010 that the very last Hummer H3 rolled off the line.
Since then, Hummers have all but disappeared from the world, with the occasional one popping up to piss you off in a supermarket parking lot by taking up two spaces. But now, 10 years after the fact, the Hummer is back…. in a very different way.
General Motors is set to roll out a new version of the Hummer, but this time rather than being a stand-alone brand, it will be a part of the GMC family. Probably a strategic move by GM to market the new Hummer as a premium pickup with a familiar name. But wait. The 2020 GMC Hummer is set to be… fully electric! I know! It’s like the antithesis of everything you thought you knew about Hummer! Will these Hummer EVs be set aflame by environmentalists? I’d say probably not!
These electric bruisers were first introduced in late January of 2020 with a series of teasers, but the real marketing started up around the Super Bowl in February, when NBA superstar Lebron James appeared on TV screens worldwide to offer some inspiring words about the upcoming Hummer. And it makes sense that they got King James to do the commercial, since the first car he bought after declaring for the NBA draft was a 2003 Hummer H2.
But apart from some slam poetry from Lebron and some silhouettes of the new Hummer EV, in which it looks a whole lot like the Hummer H2 or Hummer H2 SUT, what else have we learned about what GM has in store for the new Hummer EV? Apart from being a Hummer… that’s electric… which, let’s be honest, is more than enough to catch my attention.
Many parts of the new Hummer’s design remain mysterious. However, we do have some info based on teasers and statements from GM that gives us some idea of what this new EV will look like. If you watched the 30-second Super Bowl commercial, you probably remember some of the eye-catching specs that they mentioned. 1,000 horsepower, jumps up to 60 miles per hour in just 3 seconds, and has 11,500 pound feet of torque…
Wait, what? 11,500??? Yup, you’re not dreaming. No misplaced commas there. GM is actually claiming that the GMC Hummer EV will have 11,500 pound feet of torque. But before you start paving your driveway in titanium, let’s take a look at what that number actually means.
No, GM is not spinning you a web of lies. Well, not really. But when you compare the 1,050 pound-feet of torque on a Ford Super Duty pickup to the alleged 11,500 offered on the Hummer EV, it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.
Sure, EVs in general are super torquey at low RPMs and can launch off the starting line with incredible quickness, and that’s why this technology is so appealing to carmakers these days. However, the 11,500 pound-feet on the Hummer EV is measuring wheel torque, not motor torque, and those are very different things.
If you want to calculate a vehicle’s wheel torque, you need its drivetrain torque output, its transmission gear ratio, and its final drivetrain ratio. And we just don’t have all that information on the Hummer EV.
But what we can tell you is that if you calculate the wheel torque ratio of, let’s say, a 2020 RAM 3500 HD, you’re looking at somewhere over 15,000 pound-feet. So, is the 11,500 pound-feet on the Hummer EV really that impressive? No. Will it still jump off the line with some impressive acceleration? We think so.
Variations of the Hummer EV
Will that 11,500 pound-feet of torque be offered on ALL versions of the Hummer EV? It would appear not. According to GM president Mark Reuss, the automaker will be rolling out a one-motor, two-motor, and three-motor version of this battery-powered beast. While, obviously, the three-motor version will be the most torque-focused with a single motor on one axel and two hub motors on the other axels, GM will also offer more budget-friendly and less powerful versions of the new Hummer. This is probably a good move, considering different car buyers have different needs in terms of luxury and affordability.
And there are even more options to choose from with the Hummer EV. While GM will apparently begin producing Hummer trucks at its facility in Detroit in fall 2021, they ALSO will be rolling out an SUV version of the Hummer EV sometime after that. How much later, that remains to be seen, but it’s clear that GM is trying to appeal to a wide market with all the different options they’ll be offering.
Don’t expect to see a two-door two-seater version of the Hummer, though, since they seem to be going more towards a lifestyle vehicle than a work truck that just so happens to have an electric engine.
So with all the different versions of the Hummer EV set to hit the streets, what will be standard on all of these battery-fed SUVs and pickups? Well, for one, GM has ensured that all versions of the Hummer will be exceptionally quiet, despite the monstrous amount of power flowing out of those Ultium batteries.
As you know, EVs in general are far quieter than gas-powered engines, and the Hummer EV is set to be no exception. Another feature that has grabbed…I mean crabbed… some attention in the media is the Hummer’s Crab Mode. Apparently, as their commercial with the pickup next to an actual crab shows, the Hummer EV will be able to maneuver sideways in a crab-like motion to get in and out of tight parking spaces. So much for the Hummer being a parking space’s worst nightmare.
And another feature they share with those claw-having crustaceans is that all Hummers are expected to perform well off-road. So well, in fact, that apparently the US military is considering putting Hummer EVs in the field. While there has been some skepticism over the Hummer’s drivetrain design, specifically that the wheels will be smaller than they appeared in the Super Bowl teaser based on a leaked image from GM Authority, we do expect that the Hummer EV will still have some impressive off-road prowess. Maybe not as much as a crab… ok, ok, enough about crabs. Sorry.
While the upcoming Hummer EV definitely looks like its going to be a homerun, it’s facing some serious competition in the electric truck and off-road SUV space. 2021 will see the release of the plug-in hybrids Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and Ford Bronco. And the fully-electric pickups Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T are set to hit the streets sometime in 2021 as well.
But when you compare the Hummer EV head-to-head with the Rivian and the Cybertruck, it looks like GM still has a chance to make some waves in the world of electric pickups. The Hummer EV is expected to outperform the Rivian’s horsepower by nearly 250 with its three-motor version, and with pretty much the same range at pretty much the same starting price.
The Cybertruck will most likely outperform the Hummer when it comes to range, but the Hummer still has the advantage when it comes to power output by about 200 horses. And while Tesla has claimed that the Cybertruck will start at $40,000, which would be $30,000 less than the Hummer, you kind of have to be skeptical when it comes to Tesla. Remember how they bumped up that starting price on the Model 3? Well we do, and don’t be surprised if the same thing happens with the Cybertruck.
All in all, it seems like the Hummer EV is most appealing to the power-hungry buyers in the pickup market. And since it’ll most likely beat the Cybertruck to the market, it just might have a chance of getting them.