By on June 17, 2019

Demand for Hummer vehicles peaked in 2006 before being obliterated by the financial crisis and a spike in domestic fuel prices. Considering the brand’s most eco-conscious model (the H3) averaged somewhere around 14 mpg in the city, the nameplate probably survived longer than it should have. It took on defunct-status in 2010.

Having failed to sell off the brand, General Motors is still sitting on the property and rumors are stirring that it might be making a comeback… as an electric luxury marque.

Despite sounding like the mad ravings of drug-addled lunatic, GM has its reasons for considering bringing Hummer back to life. Jeep sales took off like cat with its tail on fire after the recession, with annual domestic volumes going from 231,701 units in 2009 to a whopping 973,227 in 2018. It’s doubtful that GM missed that or forgot that it had access to an easily identifiable brand with similar ties to the military and off-road adventure.

According to Bloomberg, GM sees an opportunity to compete with Jeep for high-margin ORVs that can still serve as family friendly transportation and kitted-out status symbols. Apparently the automaker’s design team has already worked over a few Hummer concepts and have likewise experimented with incorporating the defunct nameplate’s signature style on upcoming GMC vehicles.

GM President Mark Reuss was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of an e-Hummer (which sounds suggestive) somewhere down the road. “I love Hummer,” Reuss said. “I’m not sure. We’re looking at everything.”

Regardless, anything that’s being worked on in Detroit would be years away from seeing daylight — especially if it’s to be electric. GM said that the BEV3 architecture for smaller autos will take priority, with larger zero-emission vehicles to follow. Even then, it would be unlikely that the automaker would lead with Hummer on the big BEVs when there are fully functional brands already waiting in line.

Ruess indicated that Cadillac and GMC Denali would likely to be the first brand names to be graced with pure, unadulterated, big-boy battery packs. “There might be places where we go first that are not just heavy-duty work trucks but more style and capability for off-road,” he said. “There are lots of things that are very attractive.”

In all likelihood, we doubt any of this has progressed beyond someone bringing it up in a board room once or twice and then explaining that they were serious. All GM is doing is toying with the idea of reviving Hummer and its stated commitment to an “all-electric future” automatically forces the battery issue. That said, perpetually increasing fuel regulations make pursuing traditional Hummer models a nonstarter for General Motors. So, if the company does decide to start selling them again, it may be all-electric or nothing.

 

[Image: LeStudio/Shutterstock]

 

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36 Comments on “GM Reportedly Thinking About Electric Hummers...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Electric Hummers…”

    Is it a good idea to dunk your electric motors in 3′ of water creek crossing?

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    So they might finally build a Wrangler fighter – an electric version of the stillborn HX (planned as the H4)?

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    I think this is perfect for Hummer.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Since Hummer was the poster child for the anti-Prius crowd I can’t imagine the buyers of these trucks being very interested in a battery powered SUV. Same goes for the poor marketing department tasked with flipping Hummer brand’s reputation 180 degrees. Might as well try sell a new Corvair as a Volvo.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      JMII

      What’s a Prius?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        A Prius is a car that is shaped like a cockroach, and just as hard to kill. But they can be smashed by a species known as C. Silverado.

        The Prius is also very good on gas, and discourages the previous owner from joining it with an exhaust note that is best described as “an adolescent kitten upon whose tail you have just stepped”.

        P.S. We owned a Prius for 12 years, and it’s one of the best cars I’ve ever owned or maintained. It’s a very good AtoB car. But it is very much an owner’s car, and less a driver’s car.

  • avatar
    cicero1

    Curious if GM starts a project with lots of good ideas and the sausage making process in place leads to Aztekization results, or is it crap in = crap out?

  • avatar
    statikboy

    So what HAVE douchebag nightclub owners been driving the last 10 years?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Hummer’s have to have an astronomically high survival rate compared to other vehicles of the same era. There is still an H2 being driven by a local business owner who has one of the coffee shops in the area. There was also an H2 being driven around the Navajo Nation in my area, they’ve basically been out of production for 10 years but people keep them chugging along.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      I don’t know, but I’ve seen a couple of H2s recently and they look factory fresh.

    • 0 avatar
      Peter Gazis

      statikboy

      Taxis, Ubers & Lyfts

      Night clubs need to sell a lot of booze to make money. With younger people pre-gaming, most Night clubs have shut down.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Since GM is already working on an electric pickup, this product might not be much of a stretch.

    The real stretch is attaching the polarizing Hummer brand name to it, which is a bad idea. Incidentally, if a Hummer-like vehicle was sized like a Model X, it would end up being cleaner and more efficient than a standard Prius.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    As long as the electric drivetrain actually hums while in operation, I full support this silliness.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I usually hear about a 15khz hum out of EV and hybrid PWM controllers.

      It sounds kind of like old CRT TVs, except the exact frequency varies with the accelerator/regen position and the Doppler Effect.

      Much less noisy than what I hear out of most cars, though. When you have bat hearing, V8s can be interuptingly loud, even without exhaust modifications — and EVs are much quieter but *far* from silent. As soon as they engage the regen (by lifting your foot off the gas in a Prius) to go around a corner, I turn around to see what’s coming.

      P.S. As a kid, I used to wonder what possessed people to keep their TVs on all day, what with the 15khz whine — why would anyone subject themselves to that? But I eventually a lot of people can’t hear it, or didn’t hear it as a piercing whine. And those are the people who could keep the TV on all day.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Screw off GM, don’t screw up a storied name brand with your current management. Also since when does an auto author quote a vehicles city fuel economy? I always hear the 29MPG HWY number when someone quotes the Ram ecodiesel.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    I wonder how much range would be sacrificed by the brick like aerodynamics. Would a streamlined and sleek Hummer stand a chance in the current market preference for inefficient blocky body profiles? Sleek is sissy, boxy is macho!!

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    As a founding member of the “Please Use Batteries Efficiently” Society (aka PUBES) this bothers me to the core.

    Take constrained battery resources… deploy them in overweight bricks. Brilliant GM

  • avatar
    conundrum

    GM reportedly thinking about an electric Hummer, eh? We just use a comb and tissue paper and blow. Still, GM could contact Dyson, the plummy-voiced maker of overpriced vacuums and get him to sell them his V8 motor. It runs on batteries and lasts an hour. Per charge that is. Better hurry, Sir James just announced the V11 motor for handhelds. Hmmm-mmm-mmm-mmm.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The article’s history is a little off. 2006 ‘was’ the year that Hummer sales fell off a cliff, but it wasn’t due to a financial crisis; it was the gas spike during Hurrican Katrina. That run-up in gas prices not only killed the Hummer, but the brand-new, completely mediocre Jeep Commander was stillborn for the very same reason. And, of course, Katrina was what really gave the Prius a foothold in the US, as well.

    The financial crisis was in 2008, and it ‘did’ put the final coffin nail in the most poorly packaged, gas-guzzling SUVs like the Hummer and Commander.


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