From Sinner to Saint, From Demise to Redemption

GMC did the right thing in resurrecting the Hummer nameplate. First seen in 1992 as a civilian version of the M998 Humvee for the U.S. military, the original Hummer H1 was an all-conquering beast. Inadvertently, it also became the ultimate symbol of conspicuous consumption, no thanks to its burly Detroit Diesel V8 motor, which only mustered 10 mpg on a good day.

And as such, this vulgar image trickled down to the Hummer H2 and H3, with the latter ending production in May 2010. Ten years on, General Motors is reviving the Hummer name, and it couldn’t have come at a better time given America’s propensity (and the rest of the world) for trucks and SUVs. As seen from pre-production images and videos during the recent launch, the all-new Hummer EV is as big, aggressive, and intimidating as its forefathers. But unlike the old-timers, the new Hummer is entering this age with an all-electric powertrain.

“The all-new GMC Hummer EV will be the first of its breed – an open-air, all-electric super truck with zero emissions and zero limits,” said Al Oppenheiser, Hummer EV chief engineer. “It will have the capability to go almost anywhere, on or off-road, combining screaming performance with a nearly silent ride.”

“Whether driving on the highway or climbing over rocks, the Hummer EV will be configurable for driver preferences,” added Aaron Pfau, Hummer EV lead development engineer. “It’s an incredibly personalized and engaging driving experience that makes the full capability of the vehicle simple and comfortable to use.”

2022 GMC Hummer EV fording water.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV can ford through water nearly three feet deep. Photo: GMC.

GMC Hummer EV: The First Bite Is The Sweetest

My colleague Nancy Dunham wrote an excellent piece on the 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1, the one fully loaded with three electric motors, an e4WD system, and a double-stacked Ultium battery pack. It has all the goodies you might expect from a monster truck like 35-inch Wrangler Territory mud tires, adaptive air suspension, and underbody cladding. The first edition Hummer EV will be the most expensive of the lot, ringing in at a base price of around $112,595. It’ll be the first of the Hummer EV family to arrive later next year.

With a full stack of electrons, the tri-motor Hummer EV produces 1,000 horsepower and a bewildering 11,500 lb-ft. of torque, enough to propel the electric behemoth to 60 mph in three seconds with the powertrain in WTF mode (that’s Watts to Freedom, thank you) and the propulsion system operating at full capacity.

However, that gargantuan torque figure isn’t exactly the full story. That giant number, as Motor Trend explains, is coming from the wheels and not the output shafts. Misleading or not, the tri-motor GMC Hummer EV remains as impressive as it looks.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1.
2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1. Photo: GMC.

Ultium 800-Volt Electrical Architecture

According to GMC, the Hummer EV’s Ultium batteries are unique with a large, pouch style cell arrangement, which can be stacked vertically or horizontally. Ultium batteries contain the highest nickel and lowest cobalt content of large-format pouch cells. Equipped with a 24-module battery pack, the Edition 1 Hummer EV is suitable for an estimated driving range of over 350 miles. It also supports DC fast-charging up to 350 kW with its 800-volt electrical architecture.

“As the first of GM’s next-gen EVs, the Hummer EV will fundamentally alter conventional off-road and truck paradigms,” said Ken Morris, GM vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs. “It will also debut new technology, including our all-new Ultium batteries, Ultium Drive units, and the industry’s first wireless battery management system.”

Additionally, the Hummer EV’s battery pack can automatically switch from its native 400-volts to 800-volts while simultaneously shifting from parallel to series without requiring a converter box or other charging accessories. This means having the ability to charge the Hummer EV on various charging stations without the guesswork associated with other EVs.

And if you do have access to a 350 kW fast-charging station, the Hummer EV can add around 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes of charging. It also has Regen On Demand to trickle charge the batteries when braking.

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