Written by Theo Koenig - October 22, 2020
Edited by Asaf Kedem
General Motors Company will attempt to rival the Tesla Cybertruck and the Rivian R1T, among many other electric trucks, with the newly designed Hummer EV. The truck known for its dreadful fuel consumption levels is now returning to the market as an all-electric vehicle. The exciting new features can essentially be broken down into the following 4 categories:
Crabwalk: One of the most thrilling features is the so-called Crabwalk. The Hummer EV possesses 4-wheel steering, with the rear wheels capable of turning up to 10° in either direction. This ‘diagonal’ driving option creates nimble maneuverability and, according to GM, gives the truck an extra advantage when rock-crawling on terrain. Given the width of the truck, however, it will certainly prove itself adept in congested cities and tight parking scenarios as well. Reducing the turning radius might also help with the road-hog image the Hummer has previously struggled with, although the truck still remains exceptionally wide.
Extract mode: GM are well aware that while the Hummer is designed for maximizing off-road experience, many will be using it for every-day life. The truck therefore comes equipped with a ‘Continuous Dampening Adaptive Ride Control’ component that adjusts suspension levels based on shock travel. Front and rear suspension can consequently lift the truck by up to 6 inches, meaning that aerodynamics can be maximized at high speed, without compromising off-road experience should the truck be immersed in water or require further elevation on tough terrain. Automatically adapting software has rarely been seen for this application, and it is certainly this type of innovation that will distinguishing the Hummer EV from its opponents.
Ultravision: The Hummer EV is equipped with 18 cameras, some of which are located on the underbody of the vehicle. These are waterproof, washable, and the lens protectors can be replaced at any time. Front and rear pedestrian alerts will also be included and will certainly prove useful considering the height at which the driver sits (the truck being 81.1 inches tall). A steel plate already covers the battery pack, but customers will now be able to visually verify that the underbody armor is protected in extreme off-road environments.
Infinity Roof: Keeping the iconic design of the original Hummer was surely at the forefront of the minds of the designers. That being said, times have changed since the 2010 discontinuation, and GM have made sure to evolve accordingly. For an open-air experience, customers can dismantle the 4 roof tinted panels and store them in the power frunk. This allows for the enjoyment of panoramic views and full customer-emersion in the off-road environment, which is quite a nice touch. Unfortunately, the volumes for the trunk and frunk have not yet been specified, meaning that it is not yet clear how inconvenient it will be to store the panels.
While the truck is marketed around these 4 main features, many more remain. Camping enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the rear window is capable of rolling down, allowing easier access for those planning on creating a liveable set-up in the back. A driving assistance feature called Super Cruise is also present, offering hands-free driving as well as automatic lane switching on compatible roads. An incredible sound system is provided by Bose, who will equip the Hummer EV with a total of 14 speakers with ‘Centerpoint Electric Vehicle Sound Enhancement’. This software system is designed to highlight the natural sounds of the vehicle, while simultaneously stifling unwanted component noises.
Finally, the exterior and interior design of the car have been revamped. The Lunar Horizon-themed cabin maintains the original square-cut lines, accentuating a clean and luxurious look for the vehicle. A moon-boot footprint by the pedals, along with the engravement of the Sea of Tranquility (lunar mare) on the speakers, are quietly aimed at reminding customers of the successful relationship GM has had with NASA in the past. Meanwhile, the biggest change to the exterior is the futuristic, full-width LED bar the letters ‘Hummer’ adorned on top. The iconic upright windshield remains and, along with the specially engineered 35-inch tires, makes for an imposing vehicle that has not strayed too far away from its roots.
4 different models are to be offered:
The Hummer EV Edition 1 will, without a doubt, set the benchmark for competitors looking to break into the electric truck market. Bollinger, Tesla, Rivian, and Ford (also preparing an electric truck launch) will balk at the incredible range being offered for the Hummer EVs. According to GM, the 800V DC chargers (which are becoming an increasingly common sight along highways in the US) would allow for a charge rate of 100 miles within 10 minutes of charging. However, according to the US office of Energy and Efficiency, up to 80% of EV charging is done from home, with the vast majority of drivers using level 1 chargers. Although charging infrastructures need progressing before customers can take full advantage of the battery technology, the remaining aspects, notably torque and horsepower, put the Edition 1 in a far superior position over other electric trucks on the market.
Auto Trendy’s take:
From a marketing standpoint, GM has shifted the discussion away from the gas-guzzling persona, while keeping the name and shape that makes the vehicle instantly recognizable. According to GM, first year production has already been sold out, although it was not disclosed how many were available to begin with. Nonetheless, it is a clear indication that demand is there. Given the high-end prices of all 4 models, GM will certainly be moving away from the functional and further towards the flashy, status-symbol vehicle. This is especially poignant, considering that rival trucks such as the Tesla Cybertruck, for instance, start at $39,900 (half of what the cheapest Hummer EV costs). However, considering the outstanding range, torque, and horsepower, especially for the Edition 1, it is hard to imagine that GM have priced themselves out of the market. The Hummer EV continues GMCs’ transition towards the all-electric market, with the automotive giant having already invested $2.2 billion in Factory Zero (GM’s Detroit factory designated for EV mass-production). Despite ongoing uncertainty, it is widely expected that GM will announce the investment deal in Nikola Corporation in the coming weeks. From a purely technical perspective, GM have built a truly impressive machine and are now arguably the frontrunners of the electric truck market.