Cooley on Cars: Does the 2022 GMC Hummer EV make sense?
GM's Ultium battery tech gives this big brute a 350-mile range and allows it to accelerate to 60 mph as quickly as a Porsche 911, but does that matter?
Brian CooleyEditor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and the Publicis HealthFront. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
ExpertiseAutomotive technology, smart home, digital health.Credentials
In further proof that anything can happen in 2020, the Hummer has gone electric. But in the process, it also transforms from a niche vehicle that represented the future of nothing to a flagship that represents the electrified future of General Motors.
The Hummer EV has 350 miles of range, according to GM -- the EPA hasn't certified it yet. It's also got 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. (Scroll down to see the full specs at a glance.) It also offers all the premium car stuff, including Super Cruise driver-assistance tech, multiple big LCD screens on the dash and removable roof panels. It's surrounded by up to 18 cameras, including underneath the thing, so you can see what you're running over.
Perhaps the most important thing about the new Hummer is something you can't see: GM's new Ultium electric platform, including a new line of batteries developed with longtime partner LG Chem. Its key advantages include using 70% less of the expensive and controversial mineral cobalt, as well as allowing for a variety of designs beyond the usual "thin mattress" shape seen in most electric vehicles. Ultium is an acknowledgement that the EV business lives and dies on batteries and that GM wants to have something differentiating and defensible in that column. Such a strategy has worked out well for Tesla.
GMC Hummer EV is a 1,000-hp super truck that moves laterally like a crab
The Bolt has already carried electric brand water for GM, but while it's a nice, sensible EV for the I'm-more-forward-thinking-than-thou crowd, the new Hummer EV takes everything to a new level. It's absolutely a halo vehicle.
The new Hummer EV further legitimizes the idea that the hottest thing in electric cars is electric trucks. Rivian, Bollinger, Tesla, Lordstown and Nikola are also heading to market with so-called supertrucks, dubbed that because they're as fast as a sports car, pull like a locomotive, have cutting edge driver-assist features and articulate their power like a Mars rover. In the Hummer's case, that's called CrabWalk.
The new Hummer can also perform a magic act: It can make the cost of electrification disappear. With an $80,000 to $100,000 manufacture-suggested retail price for its three main models, which will launch over the next few years, the Hummer EV has plenty of room to hide the electric premium, something that's much harder to do with a $30,000 car.
The Hummer EV's specs at a glance:
350 miles of range, GM estimates. The EPA hasn't certified that yet.