- All-new electric pickup
- Projected 1,000 horsepower and 350 miles of range
- Serious off-road capabilities, including a CrabWalk feature
- Plenty of new tech, including Super Cruise
- The start of the first GMC Hummer EV generation
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV revives the old Hummer brand name, but with an entirely different interpretation. The old Hummers — first the H1, which was a civilian version of the original Humvee military vehicle, and then the more common H2 and H3 SUVs — are remembered as a product of their time: distinctively macho, but also distinctively oversized and wasteful. The modern take on the ultimate off-roader looks to be green, capable and downright impressive.
The new Hummer EV is a massive pickup truck powered by electricity rather than gasoline. GMC calls it a supertruck and, on paper, its capabilities would reflect that. Massive power, insanely fast acceleration, and potentially class-leading off-road capability are bundled together in one package.
The first model to go on sale will be the Hummer EV Edition 1, which is the loaded top trim. It features an electric motor that drives the front wheels and two more that drive the rear wheels.
The Hummer EV3X will debut in fall 2022, with much of the Edition 1's hardware and features. The midgrade Hummer EV2X will debut in the spring of 2023, while the entry-level Hummer EV2 will follow a year later. Both will feature a two-motor layout.
Combined output for the Hummer EV Edition 1 is projected to be a mind-boggling 1,000 horsepower. The Edition 1 model also features the "Watts to Freedom" mode (a wordplay on its initials) that enables full power acceleration to 60 mph in a claimed 3 seconds. To accomplish this feat, the Hummer uses adjustable ride height, lowering the truck to its minimum height, confirms the state of the batteries and their ability to access full power, plays a specific song and then enables launch control. It's a not-so-thinly-veiled bit of shade thrown in Tesla's direction, but it accomplishes the goal of getting the Hummer EV going in a big hurry.
The advanced battery array in the floor of the vehicle is armored against off-road damage. GMC has not yet said how much kWh's worth of electricity it can hold, but the Hummer EV's 800-volt architecture allows it to take full advantage of the latest 350-kW DC fast-charging stations. GMC says plugging the Hummer EV into one of these lightning-quick stations can add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Cruising range is estimated at 350-plus miles on a full charge. Unfortunately, these stations aren't very common. Most stations have a much slower charge rate, and in hot weather, the charge rate can be even slower. So, you'll need to adjust your expectations according to what chargers are installed in your area.
First, know that our drive experience was limited to a few laps of General Motors' test facility in Milford, Michigan. It's where the company develops its vehicles, and a lot of stuff on site isn't ready for public viewing. As such, GMC's reps covered our smartphones, limited where we could go, and kept us from testing on public roads.
During our first drive of the Hummer EV, we were allowed to do a full-power launch, but only in the dirt. The massive SUV easily spun all four tires, which you'd expect with all that power, but even at speeds that exceeded 60 mph, it could deliver enough power to get the Hummer moving sideways. In a way, it's fun, but it's also legitimately frightening to drive something with Trophy-Truck-like acceleration and a luxury-level interior.
GMC's engineers were at the helm for the demonstrations of WTF acceleration, as non-GM employees aren't permitted to do that kind of launch on site, but we sat in the passenger seat and experienced launch after launch, witnessing first-hand the kind of immediate power and torque that only an electric vehicle can deliver. The biggest limiting factor in flat-out acceleration is rubber. The Hummer EV's tires are designed for off-road use and while they don't provide enough traction to launch the vehicle well, it's still capable of eye-watering speed.
In a vehicle as large as the Hummer, you're bound to have plenty of space to move around. In the front and rear seats, there's plenty of space for adults of all shapes and sizes. Seat padding is a bit firm, but the seats are supportive with a wide range of adjustments available. At the GM facility we got the Hummer EV up to 75 mph and cruised easily over rutted, potholed and rough surfaces. Road imperfections weren't completely unnoticed, but the large tire sidewalls and the 13 inches of suspension travel certainly soaked up the majority of bumps.
If you've set the Hummer EV for its most aggressive launch by engaging Watts to Freedom, you also get the lowest version of the suspension settings. This means that the suspension is less capable of soaking up bumps, and you get a lower ride height as you go along. This means a more aggressive stance, less wind resistance, and the continued access to all 1,000-horsepower. But it also means a rougher ride with more bumps making their way into the cabin.
The Hummer EV's interior design blends futuristic minimalism with industrial brutalism to match its purpose. The intersecting rectangular shapes and horizontal dash echo some exterior styling elements and the combination of black-and-white upholstery with bronze accents lends an air of chic opulence to match its price. While building the Hummer EV, GMC engineers and interior designers stuck with a theme: Shoot for the moon. A metaphor that lends itself to high aspirations and exploration of the future, this mantra-of-sorts makes its way onto the speaker grilles, into the infotainment graphics, and on to the dead-pedal where you get an outline of Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon. If you like easter eggs, the Hummer doesn't disappoint.
The wide infotainment display mounted in the middle of the dash handles the majority of controls, but the two rows of physical switches underneath provide a nice backup. The physical controls feel robust and sturdy, with ridges to help keep gloved hands from slipping off. In appearance and use, they match the vehicle's exterior very well. The top row of switches control the air conditioning, while the bottom row handles secondary systems (differential locks, parking systems and steering wheel heating).
With the wide center console, the transparent roof panels and the large windows, there's a feeling of airiness inside the Hummer EV. For true open-air enjoyment, you can remove the panels and stow them in the front trunk.
The Hummer EV is a tech powerhouse, with no shortage of new and updated features. One of the most advanced is the newest version of General Motors' Super Cruise self-driving system. It can operate the vehicle without any driver intervention (hands-free) under certain conditions on more than 200,000 miles of enabled roadways. The latest Super Cruise includes an automatic lane-change function.
There are plenty of EV-related features, too. The Regen on Demand feature can be activated via a steering wheel paddle and allows for one-pedal driving. In this mode, lifting your foot off the accelerator will decelerate the vehicle more aggressively, using that momentum to charge the batteries. The modular batteries themselves are designed to maximize performance and temperature control, GMC says. And through the Energy Assist function on the smartphone app, the battery can be preheated to maximize charging efficiency.
Infotainment controls and screen displays are excellent. The crisp graphics, high-resolution cameras, and the myriad on-screen animations for drive modes all make the Hummer EV feel truly premium. Even the most loyal of GMC owners will have a hard time finding recycled surfaces or controls from other GMC vehicles.
With an all-electric version of four-wheel drive, an overabundance of torque and supporting tech features, the Hummer EV has serious all-terrain capabilities. It comes standard with 35-inch all-terrain tires and will be able to accommodate tires as large as 37 inches, although GMC won't offer them from the factory. The adaptive air suspension (standard on the EV2X trim and up) will adjust to driving conditions and lift the vehicle's ride height for greater ground clearance. In Extract mode, the body can lift 5.8 inches when conditions dictate.
In Extract mode, the off-road exterior specs are impressive, with an approach angle of 49.7 degrees, a departure angle of 38.4 degrees, a breakover angle of 32.2 degrees and a water-fording depth of 32 inches. In standard settings, they remain solid at 41.5 degrees for approach, a departure of 31.6 degrees, breakover of 22.3 degrees and fording depth of 26 inches.
Even the Ram 1500 TRX and the Ford F-150 Raptor, which are effectively the gold standard for from-the-factory off-roading pickups, will struggle to keep up in this department. For example, in the Ram TRX you get 30.2 degrees of approach, 23.5 degrees of departure angle, and 21.9 of breakover. Those are all below even the standard settings of the Hummer, and remember, with approach and departure angles, the higher the number, the better.
Four-wheel steering is standard on all trims except the base model, and it allows for U-turns in as little as 37.1 feet, which is similar to a small sedan's maneuverability. On top of that, the system includes a CrabWalk function where all four wheels are turned in the same direction up to 10 degrees, allowing the vehicle to drive diagonally to avoid obstacles. It might seem like a gimmick, but any experienced off-roader can give you a dozen stories of their vehicle getting dangerously close to a tree, a rock, or some immovable object. In those scenarios, the CrabWalk function is truly useful, and can legitimately keep drivers from damaging their vehicles.
Other off-road tech includes a long list of apps in the infotainment system and as many as 18 camera views to locate hazards while off-roading (including under the vehicle). As for the Hummer's "truckability," it has a 5-foot pickup bed (a few inches shorter than a standard full-size pickup bed) but the bed height is very tall — which means lifting large items will be difficult at best. Thankfully, it features a version of GMC's MultiPro tailgate that can be configured to better secure cargo or as a step to allow for easier access.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV isn't cheap. Even the base model will set you back at least $80,000, and that's if you can wait for its debut in 2024. In the fledgling supertruck class, it's one of the earliest to come to market, but it has to do battle with the Rivian R1 right out of the gate, and gasoline rivals like the F-150 Raptor and the Ram 1500 TRX. Our short time in the Hummer EV has us more excited than ever to get one out on public roads and public trails. This new Hummer is a serious off-road machine that ushers in an entirely new era for General Motors.