The Hummer EV is an earthmoving, behemoth of a pickup that is everything most EV buyers are not trying to be – brash, in your face, and intimidating.
But when they hear it’s electric, their ears sort of perk up.
The Hummer EV, in Edition 1 trim as tested, is a fully loaded version of GMC’s top of the pyramid truck. It has 3 motors pumping out 1000 horsepower, features an 800-volt EV platform with massive Ultium battery (212.7 kWh), and has a range of around 350 miles.
The Edition 1 costs a Hummer-size $112,839 as tested, but you do get a lot for the money. Cheaper versions of the Hummer EV will start at around $80,000, GMC (GM) says.
The big, bold exterior design of the Hummer in an exercise in non-restraint. One only need look at the massive light bar in the front with the glowing HUMMER EV printed on it. The truck is also over a foot wider than a Toyota Camry.
The bruising, bold look starts at the front, which is unmistakable Hummer, hearkening back to the old H1 and H2 of years past. The hulking front end with nearly flat windshield—with three windshield wipers—flows back to the full-size four door cab, and features buttress-like C-pillars that form the upper part of the truck bed.
Our tester continued the out of this word look with two massive 35-inch off-road tires in the pickup bed, capped off with GMC’s MultiPro tailgate that can fold in several stages, with one part incorporating a KICKER audio system and speakers for outdoor tunes.
Inside the Hummer is all business – lots of right angles and hard edges, nothing rounded or curved to speak off. A prominent floating touchscreen display houses GMC’s infotainment system, which uses a Hummer specific graphical background design, mimicking the surface of the moon. There are other moon references in the vehicle, from the floor mats to the speaker covers, echoing what the GMC Hummer team dubbed their moonshot vehicle.
Hummer almost the size of a medium-duty commercial vehicle.—on New York City streets was agita inducing.
The nearly 10,000-pound Hummer was somewhat nimble; its EV powertrain made accelerating and stopping with its regenerative braking system a smooth affair. Air suspension ate up potholes when encountered, and the vast array of cameras helped with visibility.
Sure there were a couple scary moments when trying to weave through heavy traffic, or the all to common squeezing around a double-parked car on an NYC side street. But the Hummer includes rear-wheel steer to reduce its turning radius, and a party trick known as “crabwalk,” to maneuver when confines are tight, like on an off-road trail. (I actually used crabwalk to parallel park on a narrow city street.)
But out of the city is where the Hummer shined. Sitting high up like a full-size pickup, the Hummer offers a commanding view of the road. With 1000 horsepower on tap, zooming past smaller cars and weaving around traffic felt like we were breaking the laws of physics.
Yes – it’s a capable truck, and we didn’t even have the chance to take if off road and use those 35-inch tires to good use. But the hummer is more than its physical presence. It’s GM’s way of showing what’s possible with EVs, and showing a skeptical public that an EV can be the biggest, baddest thing on the road.
“Hummer bordered on an evil brand when GM finally retired it,” my co-pilot Newman said about the brand’s once reviled history. “Environmentalists despised it because it was so needlessly obnoxious, and it got single-digit mpg. It had to be the most inefficient vehicle there was when it stopped production in 2010.”
But with the Hummer being all electric, those legacy issues are now gone. “It still might be inefficient, but there are no greenhouse gasses coming out the back,” Newman added. “They’re taking a sin brand and turning it into a virtuous brand.”
And that might be GM’s real moonshot. Taking the Hummer brand out of the dustbin of history, and making it king of the hill across all of GM’s truck offerings – electric or not.