Hummer Brand to Return on an EV? Wha-Wha-What?
GM reportedly may resurrect the onetime environmentalists’ target with a fully electric model.
Two years ago, actor, former California "Governator," and HMMWV enthusiast Arnold Schwarzenegger wanted an all-electric Hummer, so he had his H1 converted to run on electricity by Kriesel Electric. Now it seems that GM may bring back the oft-derided SUV brand it killed in 2010, perhaps using the nameplate on EVs. According to a report by Bloomberg, the possibility has arisen "as [GM] plans which vehicles will be included in a fleet of electrified SUVs and trucks."
"GM sees an opportunity to compete with Jeep for off-road vehicles that have creature comforts commanding high premiums," according to Bloomberg's unnamed sources. "The company's designers have done work with Hummer concepts and have experimented with Hummer styling cues on future GMC-brand models."
Is it a sure thing? Likely not, but most major automakers have at least one—or in most cases, multiple—electric vehicles in the works. As EV adoption becomes more widespread, people are going to look to more than an electric powertrain for differentiation, and an EV Hummer would be a heck of a way to silently crawl through a mud bog or a crowded mall parking lot. Of course, given the brand's gas-guzzling reputation and its baggage with environmentalists, future owners would no doubt spend plenty of time explaining their purchase.
GM is also working on an electric pickup to compete with the Tesla pickup that may debut as early as this summer, Ford's promised F-150 EV, and Rivian's R1T. The Blue Oval plans to use Rivian's EV platform for some vehicle—perhaps a commercial van and not its own EV pickup—after infusing some $500 million into the buzzworthy startup.
GM wants to launch at least 20 new EVs by 2023 and is developing two battery-electric-vehicle platforms. The so-called BEV3 platform will be used for small to midsize cars, crossovers, and SUVs, while the second architecture is planned for trucks and full-size vehicles like the possible Hummer. Cadillac will be the first to get a vehicle on the BEV3 bones, in 2022, while vehicles on the other architecture are a bit farther out. Given that timeline—and that fact that the brand is still a going concern—it would be some time before a possible Hummer EV would reach the market.
If you're looking for an electric Hummer in the meantime, maybe make an offer on Arnold's—he also has an electrified Mercedes-Benz G-wagen in his garage and perhaps could use the extra room.