GM brings Hummer back to life – as an EV truck

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It was too close to a script for a 1980s action movie – a misunderstood war veteran finds solace in the suburbs and ends up doing school runs. Everyone’s jolly. But then, one last mission calls and our hero must fight for survival again.

The Humvee, or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, was a military four-wheel drive truck designed to replace the ageing Jeep just in time for the Gulf War. After everything settled down, times were so good during the 1990s economic boom in the US that someone had the bright idea of putting this massive vehicle on sale to the public and calling it ‘the Hummer’, just in case it wasn’t unsociable enough.

By 2005, the Hummer line included three models, all incredibly wasteful, barely useful, and wildly popular, at least until the 2008 credit crunch ate it up. Brand owner General Motors (GM) tried to sell the Hummer name to the Chinese during its restructuring government bailout, but the deal collapsed in 2010 and the Hummer was no more. A new, younger, more environmentally conscious buyer emerged and the Hummer became the punchline in every “a Republican walks into a bar” joke.

GM’s new, new Hummer

A decade later and all talk has turned to EVs as legislators fight off carbon monoxide emissions, and you’d think this to be the worst time possible for GM to dust off the Hummer badges. GM skipped the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in January because there was nothing new to show – now the company has just announced a $2.2 billion investment into its historic Detroit-Hamtramck plant to furbish it for EV production, with the first zero-emissions models to start rolling out late next year.

GM plans to grow its portfolio to include 20 EVs by 2023.

One of these vehicles will wear the resurrected Hummer badge, representing the company’s first ever all-electric truck, just in time, as rival electric trucks from brands like Tesla, Lincoln (Ford), Rivian and Bollinger start surfacing.

According to GM, the new new Hummer will develop 1 000 horsepower, and 11 500lb-ft of torque, which is 20 times what a similar GM model makes with its internal combustion engine.

Commercialised under the GMC brand, a GM division that focuses on SUVs and pick-up trucks, the GMC Hummer EV will make its official debut on 20 May at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.

With lithium-ion batteries and electric motors driving all four wheels, the GMC Hummer EV is said to be capable of accelerating from zero to 100km/h in three seconds, which is competitive with million-dollar supercars. GM calls it a “premium super-truck”, but the pricing will only be revealed as we get closer to the Hummer’s 2021 sale date.

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