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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?

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. 

Read more: All the details on GMC's new electric Hummer

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.

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.

Vintage Hummer H1 brochure

You've come a long way, baby. The 2000 Hummer H1 was iconic, but also absurd in the hands of many. The 2022 Hummer EV tells the future rather than fighting it.

GM

The Hummer EV's specs at a glance:

  • 350 miles of range, GM estimates. The EPA hasn't certified that yet.
  • 1,000 horsepower.
  • 11,500 pound-feet of torque. Though it's not torque as we typically define it.
  • A three-motor, all-wheel-drive layout on the top-tier models.
  • Zero to 60 mph in about 3 seconds. Startling for something the size of a tiny home.
  • Fast-charging support that's good for 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes.