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GMC Hummer EV reveal delayed over coronavirus crisis

GM will no longer reveal its hotly awaited electric pickup on May 20, but the automaker says production remains on schedule.

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- 03:18

GMC's Hummer electric truck won't show its face on May 20 after all. Thanks, coronavirus.

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General Motors' reborn Hummer EV reveal event has been delayed. The planned unveil of the Tesla Cybertruck-rivaling electric pickup had been set for May 20, but that was before the coronavirus besieged the globe, disrupting industry timetables worldwide.

GM confirmed the delay in a statement on Wednesday: 

"While we cannot wait to show the GMC Hummer EV to the world, we will reschedule the May 20 reveal date. In the meantime, the team's development work continues on track and undeterred. We invite all to stay tuned for more stories on this super truck's incredible capability leading up to its official debut."

The automaker also released a new, short teaser video for the truck featuring an overhead perspective here:

For the moment, the Detroit automaker is not confirming a new target reveal date for the electric pickup truck. A GM spokesperson confirmed to Roadshow that setting a new event date does not make sense at this time given the fluid nature of the coronavirus crisis. GM is hardly alone: Countless new-vehicle introductions and production timetables have been delayed and thrown into doubt by the coronavirus crisis.

GM originally confirmed the return of Hummer in a Super Bowl ad in February. The 30-second spot, Quiet Revolution, featured basketball superstar LeBron James. The ad revealed that Hummer would return not as a standalone nameplate, but as an electric sub-brand under the GMC umbrella. Showing a teaser image of the vehicle's front end, GM cited a handful of outlandish performance claims for the truck, including calling out 1,000 horsepower and a 0-60-mph time of just 3 seconds. The ad (embedded below) also cited a jaw-slackening figure of 11,550 pound-feet of torque, but that figure was both sensationalized and misleading, as we explain here.

A GM spokesperson confirms to Roadshow that while Hummer's reveal event has been delayed, the vehicle's development plans continue unabated. In fact, the automaker still plans to start Hummer production and sales as previously scheduled, though the company continues to decline to disclose timelines. TL;DR: The world will have to wait longer to see the Hummer EV, but it won't necessarily have to wait any longer to buy one.

While there are no electric pickup trucks on the North American market today, a crush of high-profile models are slated to hit soon. Presumptive rivals for GMC's Hummer include splashy competitors like Elon Musk's wedgy Tesla Cybertruck, as well as a battery-powered version of Ford's next F-150. A number of promising startups have also staked their claim to electric truckdom, including suburban-Detroit-based Rivian and its R1T pickup, Bollinger Motors with its elemental B2 and Lordstown with its Endurance EV. Would-be electric semi-truck-manufacturer Nikola has also detailed its Badger EV, and Fisker is also said to be preparing its own electric load-lugger, the Alaska.

Given all of these new vehicle announcements, it's unsurprising that the fervor around the electric pickup scene has ramped up exponentially over the last year or so. The excitement reached a fever pitch in November, when Tesla unveiled its rule-breaking Cybertruck. It remains to be seen, however, just how big the electric pickup truck market will be, especially in an era of greatly depressed gas prices. It's going to take a long time to figure out the size of the world's buying audience -- not just for GMC's Hummer EV, but for the entire electric truck industry.

Read moreTesla Cybertruck vs. GMC Hummer EV, Bollinger and Rivian: Electric trucks are coming

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First published April 29.