- I spent a weekend with the new all-electric Hummer pickup truck.
- The GMC Hummer EV is ridiculously big, surprisingly fast and excessive in every way.
- GM loaned me a Hummer EV Edition 1, which costs around $113,000.
General Motors’ Hummer brand died in 2010 after the financial crash caused the gas-guzzler’s sales to plummet. Now, 12 years later, we have another stock market rout, another potential housing bubble, and to top it off, the Hummer is back.
Except this time it’s electric.
While the GMC Hummer EV doesn’t guzzle fossil fuels or spit out climate-warming gases like its predecessors, it still carries on the Hummer tradition of being mindlessly big and outrageously over the top.
A lot of people criticize it for that, but that’s also what makes it so fun.
First, the basics
GM ripped the Hummer name from the scrapyard to create a new all-electric brand under GMC in 2020. The Hummer EV pickup launched in late 2021, and an SUV is on the way for 2023.
Over time, the pickup line will expand to include several trucks at various price points, including an $80,000 base model. GMC starts with the $113,000 Edition 1, a fully loaded truck with 1,000 horsepower, three electric motors and a long list of original features.
The Hummer competes with two other electric pickup trucks: Ford’s F-150 Lightning and Rivian’s R1T. It also competes with glitzy SUVs like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen because although the Hummer has a bed and significant off-road chops, chances are most buyers won’t use it. in this way.
What stands out: An over-the-top truck packed with cool features
Nothing about the Hummer EV is subtle. It hits you right in the face with its muscular looks and flashy interior. It’s loaded with extravagant features and amped it all up on the Monster Energy Drink, ready to show you what it can do.
The glass roof of the Hummer EV is removable, because why not? It detaches surprisingly easily using latches that lock four glass panels in place. They all fit neatly and comfortably in the spacious front trunk of the Hummer. Without roof panels, the frunk offers 11.3 cubic feet of cargo space, rivaling the trunks of some small cars.
Inside, the Hummer features two large screens, gold-accented air vents the size of your head, and graphics inspired by the surface of the Moon, a nod to GM’s work on the Apollo 15 lunar rover. There’s more than enough head and leg room for passengers of most shapes and sizes, plus a sprawling center compartment that’s big enough to hold a Thanksgiving turkey. (We have everything was there.)
Cycle through the Hummer’s drive modes and you’ll see detailed video game-like animations of the pickup zooming through various terrains. In Off-Road mode, the truck climbs over the sands of Mars. In Tow/Haul he is shown firing a rocket. The Hummer brings a bit of flair to the mundane parts of riding.
Drive the Hummer
When switched to tongue-in-cheek “Watts to Freedom” (WTF) mode, the Hummer EV claims to hit 60 mph as fast as a supercar – in an astounding three seconds.
Even in the more moderate normal setting, which I’ve stuck with, the Hummer is a 9,000-pound rocket. Pressing the accelerator sends the whole truck rolling backwards like a motorboat as it picks up speed. With the roof down and the gargantuan truck dancing everywhere, I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.
Equipped with a healthy range of 329 miles estimated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Hummer does a great job of allaying range anxiety. It rides comfortably and comes with Super Cruise, GM’s excellent hands-free driving feature that relieves some of the monotony of long highway drives.
One thing I couldn’t get used to was how big it was. It’s ridiculously wide and tall, and its boxy proportions hamper visibility in most directions. I drove with the looming fear of being wrong about how close I was to something – or someone – and felt the need to constantly apologize to other motorists for the amount of space that I occupied.
However, maneuvering in tight spaces was surprisingly painless thanks to the Hummer’s rear-wheel steering. At low speeds, the truck’s rear wheels spin in the opposite direction to the front wheels, cutting into its turning radius.
This system also enables Hummer’s liveliest feature: Crab Walk. It steers the rear wheels in the same orientation as the front wheels, allowing you to drive diagonally in off-road situations. With tons of ground clearance, underbody armor and plenty of torque, the EV is supposed to be incredibly capable off-road, but I couldn’t test it.
What’s Wrong: New Hummer, Same Problems
The Hummer EV is extremely inefficient compared to its competitors, which is both unfortunate and on-brand. It gets 47 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe), according to the EPA. The F-150 Lightning achieves 70 MPGe, while a highly efficient electric vehicle like the Tesla Model 3 gains 132.
Another disturbing aspect of the Hummer: its size. The idea that any rich enough bozo can go out and buy a truck that weighs three Honda Civics and accelerates like a Lamborghini is frankly disturbing given the deadly epidemic of car accidents in this country.
But then again, if people still want big trucks, they might as well be sustainably powered.
Our impressions: American excess, electrified
I didn’t expect to enjoy the Hummer EV as much as I did. An extravagant truck that’s hard to see and bigger than anyone needs is just not my personal cup of tea.
But the Hummer’s uselessness is charming, and its capabilities are downright impressive. It’s so perfectly optimized to put a smile on your face that you can’t help but give in.