By on March 17, 2021

GMCWe know all, or at least most, of the details about the upcoming GMC Hummer EV. And General Motors has staked a lot on its success.

But will anyone actually buy it?

That’s a thornier question than you might think. It seems, on the surface of it, that the Hummer will sell in strong numbers.

After all, the previous vehicle was quite popular, at least until gas prices shot through the roof (the brand reorganization/culling forced by a federally managed bankruptcy also helped spell doom, obviously). That obviously won’t be a problem for an electric vehicle.

Still, challenges remain. The Hummer likely won’t be cheap (GM also says no haggling), and charging infrastructure for EVs is in its infancy, as we’ve noted in two recent electric-vehicle reviews.

Will people not consider a Hummer as rugged and macho as models past due to its EV powertrain? Will environmentalists point out that even being an EV, a large SUV like the Hummer might still be harmful to the environment? Has the Hummer’s time simply passed, as we move into a world more centered on smaller crossovers?

There will also be the usual concerns about range to go along with any other concerns buyers might have when it comes to a still relatively new technology. There may also be concerns about the performance of an electric powertrain in off-road situations.

On the other hand, the Edition 1 is already sold out. That may not be a harbinger of popularity – some folks just feel the need to be first – but certainly, GMC is probably happy with that news.

A quick reminder on the specs, at least as pertains to the Edition 1: GMC is promising 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb-ft of torque, two drive units, and three electric motors. Naturally, the Hummer will have four-wheel drive. Fast charging will be available, with GM promising up to 100 miles in 10 minutes.

Range is pegged at 350 miles, perhaps more.

An available Crab Walk feature will allow for diagonal movement at low speeds, and SuperCruise hands-free driving will be available, as well. Other key features will include the MultiPro multifunction tailgate, adaptive damping, the ability to have open-air driving, drive modes, skid plates, power tonneau cover, large infotainment screen, thirty-five-inch tires, adaptive air suspension, underbody cameras, and off-road-specific instrumentation.

Base models will follow later, with 625 horsepower, 7,400 lb-ft of torque, and at least 250 miles of range with a two-motor system. An EV 2X trim will have 300 miles of range.

Pricing will start at $79,995 for base models, but those won’t even be on the market until 2024. EV 3 trims go on sale in fall 2022 with a base price of $99,995. The $89,995 EV 2X follows in the spring of 2023. Production begins in the fall of this year, and the Edition 1 starts at $112,995.

We asked GMC directly if they’d venture a guess on sales numbers, but they politely declined to speculate. Still, they did remind us that reservations for the Edition 1 were full in about 10 minutes.

There won’t be federal tax incentives on the Hummer EV, however.

Our take? People will buy this truck unless economic calamity strikes and makes the pricing challenging. Charging infrastructure is improving, and with some trims offering 300 or more miles of range, range anxiety will be less of a factor.

The GMC Hummer EV will be the hot new status symbol on Hollywood Boulevard, if not in the woods.

[Image: GMC]

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58 Comments on “Is Anyone Really Going to Buy an Electric Hummer?...”


  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    a) “Is Anyone Really Going to Buy an Electric Hummer?”

    b) “the Edition 1 is already sold out”

    Tim Healey, your brain must be an interesting place.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      As noted in the article, full reservations of the first edition aren’t necessarily indicative of future sales…..

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Plus GM won’t say how many reservations have been made. It could be 20 or 200,000.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Those first edition trucks will be seen on YouTube then flipped for profit. This has apparently become a thing these days with limited edition launch vehicles. Many C8s have lived this life already. It works because if you get enough views on YT your basically covering your monthly payment. Once the buzz dies down you sell and swap in the new hotness for another round of views. In the end its a wash or maybe even a decent profit. Getting someone else to make your payment seems like an excellent way to drive cool, new vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        GM will wisely limit sales in order to keep demand up so they can actually profit per unit, unlike other missteps *cough* ELR *cough* Volt *cough* Bolt.

        Thinking further, they may also be doing this with the C8 though I previously chalked it up to GM incompetence and various shortages. Could be a mix of all of those things.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think it has to sell in large numbers – this is a halo car.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Saturn died at the same time as the Hummer division, so gas prices didn’t necessarily cause Hummer’s demise.

    In a world with a Jeep Grand Wagoneer and other high-end trucks (including some competitive $$$ EV trucks from Ford, Rivian, and Tesla), the new Hummer EV has a fair chance of success.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Fair point, and obviously GM was forced to kill four brands as part of the bankruptcy re-org. I will update to reflect that. That said, if memory serves, sales of the gas-hog SUVs did dip for a year or two around then.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        To add to this, Daimler thought it would be a really great idea to come up with a competitor to the hot-selling Hummer in the Jeep Commander. It was even more poorly packaged than the Hummer (the main reason for the Commander’s existance was third row seating, but the seat was so small it was a joke) and, as has been the case with more than a few of Chrysler’s new models, the timing couldn’t have been worse with the vehicles arriving in dealer showrooms precisely at the height of the Hurricane Katrina gas price spike. Almost immediately, Daimler started ladling big money on Commander hoods, and they still sat as if nailed to the showroom floor.

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        Per Rattner’s book, there was a knock down drag out battle between GM reorg deputy Harry Wilson and GM’s product planning peeps. Of course the govt held all the strong cards in this game. 20-20 hindsight says killing Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn was probably a good call. Hummer probably would have done well long term but $4 gas at the time didn’t bode well for that approach.

        • 0 avatar

          Americans always think short term, even the government. I am puzzled to this day how your predecessors were able to build interstate system and put man on the moon. Or short term thinking is a recent Boomer-Millennial thing?

        • 0 avatar

          Americans always think short term, even the government. I am puzzled to this day how your predecessors were able to build interstate system and put man on the moon. Or short term thinking is a recent Boomer-Millennial thing?

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t think cancelling all those brand was a good idea. The result of this decision is that GM has gone from 1st to fifth place in sales!! Toyota sold almost 2 million more vehicles than GM last year.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The distribution networks for Hummer and Saab were separate IIRC, and there may still have been standalone Saturn shops so there I see why they shut it down. But shutting down distribution networks and standalone dealers is different than completely shuttering a brand marque which GM realized and still retained the rights to Hummer and likely others. I don’t think I’d ever bring Saab back but if there was some business purpose I may consider bringing the others back for one off models.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The Cybertruck is on a cheaper pricing level than the Hummer. It’s priced from $40k to $70k. The Tesla is at a level where it has a chance of getting some government sales.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I was just looking at the price of the Bolt EUV, and it’s high end (the Bolt EUV Launch Edition) is the same price as the base Cybertruck.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The $40K Cybertruck will be as real as the $35K Model 3: it will become available in a tiny window sometime a couple of years after launch when Tesla needs to juice sales. Current reservation holders will be strung along for many months watching the 2- and 3-motor reservation holders get trucks delivered. As soon as demand again meets capacity it will disappear for good and the base Cybertruck will be the 2-motor version.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The $40K Cybertruck will be as real as the $35K Model 3: it will become available in a tiny window sometime a couple of years after launch when Tesla needs to juice sales. Current reservation holders will be strung along for many months watching the 2- and 3-motor reservation holders get trucks delivered. As soon as demand again meets capacity it will disappear for good and the base Cybertruck will be the 2-motor version.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @dal20402: You’re probably right. If you notice, I actually factored in a price increase on the base. They’ll probably tack on another $5k to the high-end model. The 2WD drive model order page says production late 2022, which means 2023. I think the big problem will be the battery supply. The 500-mile version no doubt needs the 4680 cells, so it’s competing with Plaid+ and the Semi.

            Yeah, there was a short window with the $35k Model, but the lowest price model is only $2.5k more at 37,500. A similar increase on the base Cybertruck will put it at $42,500 vs. a Bolt EUV Launch Edition at $43,500. Okay, maybe I factored in a $3,500 dollar increase. Although, my money is on the 2WD getting cancelled altogether except for fleet purchases.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Remember though in the Bankruptcy GM tried desperately to sell the brand. Even the Chinese wouldn’t buy it as it was a worthless name in the marketplace when tied to gasoline powered vehicles. The name is synonymous with pointless excess and waste. GM going all electric for Hummer was the only way people will view the revival in any sort of positive light.

      Personally, I feel that the crowd that blocks charging ports for Teslas with their brodozers is not going to pony up for this vehicle. I am sure they will sell, especially in limited production runs, but the main appeal of past Hummers was to those sociopaths who relished in the hate they received from the green crowd. I am not sure the 180 in marketing will reach a wide audience. If a Cybertruck and Rivian hit the market this will likely be at the very end of the EV intender’s wish list.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        A relatively mild mannered friend of mine picked up a low miles burnt orange H2 of the truck variant during the bankruptcy and I can assure you he is not a sociopath who revels in hate. Though on the subject, why would presumably some Hummer buyer purchase it to receive negative attention and why are others giving negative attention to a product owned by someone else? Are we still in 9th grade? Gwarrrr you have a Hummer, Brrzzzz you have a Prius, the hate must flow! Who the f*** cares, life is too short.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Maybe Hummer would do OK today, but it was definitely not doing well at the time it got cancelled – total brand sales went from 71,000 in 2006 to 9,000 in 2009.

      https://www.goodcarbadcar.net/hummer-sales-figures-usa-canada/

      (Cue the video of Major Kong riding the bomb down in “Dr. Strangelove.)

      Key factors were the Great Recession, combined with high gas prices.

      Sales of ALL large SUVs tanked, so every Hummer sold was a Suburban/Tahoe/Yukon that sat. Made perfect sense for GM to kill the brand at the time, if you ask me. Burying Hummer and Saab were no-brainers; killing Pontiac and Saturn were more of a judgment call but in the end, I think they weren’t coming back either. Better to just concentrate on Chevy.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “It seems, on the surface of it, that the Hummer will sell in strong numbers.”
    “but they politely declined to speculate.”

    *You* can speculate though without using the squishy “high numbers” tap dance term.

    I’m saying under 10k the launch year and under 6k thereafter.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Sounds about right, and I don’t think volume is the key goal here. I think they’re using this low-volume halo car to test out how well the Ultium platform works for higher production volumes.

  • avatar
    tallguy130

    I’ve been having the same question. The people who bought the original Hummer are not the same people who want an electric truck. Not trying to throw stereotypes around but we can all picture the Hummer buyer, now try to see them putting down nearly 100k for a green vehicle. it just doesn’t compute.

    Better target would have been to make an electric Escalade. Easier to change the premium price, buyers are more likely to be interested in the tec bits and it gives Cady some very much needed buzz and foot traffic in the stores.

    • 0 avatar
      i3s

      Not so.

      I have had my 2003 H2 for 18 years. It is now parked next to my BMW i3s and hasn’t been used in 2 years. The i3s replaced my v10 r8 after 8 years as a daily driver. I selected the i3S after driving a wide assortment of ICE and EVs to find a car that would regularly put a smile on my face.

      H2 owners have aged and grown up. Frankly I could careless about the environmental aspect of electrical vehicles. For me it could be just as bad or even worse than ICE, and I would choose to drive one any day of the week over an ICE vehicle because I personally feel it is a far more enjoyable driving experience.

      As someone who has had an H2, Jeeps, and Range Rovers for 18 years, lives in a mountainous region and has actually off-roaded these things I FULLY BELIEVE that an EV will be far superior to any ICE truck ever in a harsh 4×4 environment. True 1 pedal driving will be a game changer.

      I am excited as hell over the new Hummer, and electrification in general – regardless of the manufacturer.

      On another note, as someone who also has a Tesla model 3, I happen to be highly skeptical over the CyberTruck on many many many levels. GM knows trucks. They have a century of experience with them. My H2 has been my most reliable and longest held vehicle. I would seriously consider the new one.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick_515

        i3s,

        was the “s” part conscious? I’ve actually been thinking about an i3 (2017-2018 window for best value; haven’t decided on the REX option yet since it’ll be a second car). But i’ve read the sporty models are worse due to tire size & ride harshness.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I doubt an EV Escalade is going to suddenly bring more customers in when the rest of the brand is as it is. The Hummer EV, and likely more variants to follow, will bring in foot traffic to BPG dealers who also sell upscale Chevrolet pickups. If they are planning electric Buick lines this also lines up well vs doing it in Chevrolet (i.e. Buick customer type more affluent on average).

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Sorry but the Escalade buyer and the Hummer buyer were one in the same. Way back when one of the mothers at my kids school owned both. They were both just one of her many expensive fashion accessories.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Be that as it may if your goal is to direct new foot traffic who may not end up with a Hummer, is it better to have them in your Cadillac franchise or your BPG franchise which also sells high margin pickups?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          These won’t be available at Chevy dealers since they are GMCs If this brings a truck buyer in that decides they want to stick with gas they’ll have a ton of GMC pickups on the lot too which have margins just as high if not higher on average than those that wear a bow tie.

          I do think that the dealers who have Cadillac too will be more likely to have signed up to be able to sell the Hummer. Cadillac is also requiring an investment in facilities and training of personnel and I’m sure much of that overlaps considerably. In other words if you signed up to do Hummer you are part way there to keeping your Cadillac franchise and if you chose to keep on Cadillac’n you are part way there to being able to sell the Hummer.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Your first point echoes my thoughts. On the second point, I think you are right and it did not occur to me. I’m not sure how many standalone Cadillac dealers are left, but I would think they are in the minority. I’m sure by now most BPG dealers merged with or purchased a Cadillac franchise (if not Chevrolet as well). I always thought the pragmatic approach FCA took after 2009 made a lot of sense and helped more than it hurt. GM was probably too large to have followed suit at the time but they really should merge Cadillac’s distribution network at least with BPG if not unify them all. That’s probably part of the point of Project Pinnacle.

  • avatar
    ErickKS

    The people who claim to care about the environment will probably bash this and all similar electrics, whilst giving Teslas with same or better performance a pass, because, Tesla.

  • avatar
    wolfwagen

    “100 miles in 10 minutes” MEH

    This thing will sell so people can have “enviro cred” but I think it will be a flash in the pan like the original Hummer or the HHR SS, or the SS, or the SSR

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      “This thing will sell so people can have “enviro cred” ”

      Not everyone will buy it for enviro cred. Some will buy it because they want better performance than what you’d get from an ICE drivetrain. I think most people will save $40k and get a 500+ mile range Tesla truck instead. I think you’re probably right about it being a flash in the pan. With a higher price and less range than the competition, I don’t think it has much of a chance.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Let’s say you’re shopping for a premium luxury $100k + SUV that can also rock crawl and is not solely a boulevard and mall cruiser Your choices are the G-Wagen Benz that gets 13-15mpg or The Hummer which is electric and has a good range. For many the Hummer would be the obvious choice.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      This.

      People didn’t buy the Hummer because they really enjoy getting bent over at the gas pump. They bought it because it was big, brash, and tied to a “macho” image through the connection to the Hummvee. They could give two shits about the actual drivetrain. Same reason the G-wagen sells, oddly enough, cause the G-wagen is also based on a military vehicle.

      Maybe that military connection is attenuated enough now that it won’t work.. Especially since the military doesn’t even drive the Hummvee any more. But I think as long as it looks big and mean, it’ll still sell.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Plus the Hummer EV has targa and t-tops which is quite a bonus. It also includes folks who buy Jeep Wranglers and go all macho by adding accessories like the “angry face and eyes” grill as well as the blinding LED light bars.

      • 0 avatar
        multicam

        The military still drives plenty of the ol’ HMMWVs, Snooder- everything from light skinned M1097s to up armored M1151 gun trucks are still all over the place. I spent most of February in my HMMWV here on Fort Hood. Not everyone has the new JLTV.

        OH- there’s an idea! A civilian JLTV!

  • avatar
    Dan

    How can this not succeed? The 1% are being juiced like never before, the car is flashy and expensive, they have the dealer network to put it in front of everyone.

    This isn’t a sedan in a market that gave up on them a decade ago. It isn’t a self hating piece of shit for the imaginary demographic of self hating POS people who also want a 75k car like the ELR. It’s a show off toy in a market that eats them up.

    Even GM couldn’t screw this up at this point.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    God I had forgotten the sheer contempt for customers GM shows by quoting torque at the wheels as if it’s torque at the crank.

    It should be the duty of automotive media to call this out at every opportunity.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      @jack4x

      Absolutely agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      cammark

      My eye starts twitching every time I see this spec quoted. They should cross their fingers that too few people start to pull out their calculators. For frame of reference- my rough math shows the current Jeep Rubicon with the 3.6 V6 in 4-lo, just off idle is putting down over 12,000 lb-ft at the wheels.

  • avatar

    Truck and SUV customers tend to be very conservative in their taste in vehicles. This is especially true when it comes to somebody who would purchase a hummer. These are the last people in the world who would buy an electric hummer. My prediction is around 5 to 10,000 sales a year. The marketing for this vehicle is a mystery to me.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If conservative style is the key driver in full size SUV sales, please explain the success of the Escalade and Navigator.

      I think you’re off base on this one – bling sells big-time in this segment, and the same folks buying Escalades and Navigators (and Range Rovers) will be looking at one of these.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    The competitive environment for the Electric Hummer will be pretty harsh.

    The Rivian R1T and S1T will both be aimed at the same markets and looking pretty credible. Their top trim levels cost about the same as the bottom trim level of the Hummer.

    The Tesla Cybertruck will be a different kind of truck, but competes because these are electric trucks. Tesla’s top trim level cost about the same as the bottom trim level of the Hummer. The Cybertruck will beat both of them in terms of specs and performance-per-dollar.

    When Tesla is the value leader in your segment, that is a harsh competitive environment.

    I wish the electric Hummer good luck, because the more EVs the better. But they’re going to need a lot of luck in order to sell many trucks in what should become a very competitive market in 2022.

    As someone looking to trade my hybrid pickup truck for an EV in that timeframe, though, I’m pretty sure *I* will be the winner of this competition. I’ll buy the best truck and be happy!

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Sorry for the dumb question: To be used as (theoretically) intended, the new Hummer will be taken off-road. How does GM ensure that all of those batteries don’t get wet if you’re plowing through a flooded field on the way to a duck blind? Seems like the slightest leak and you’d have a big problem.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      We’ll let marketing worry about that.

      https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/b9cef881-3cca-4144-bd67-6a1ceaae6880

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The battery packs are sealed (and water cooled) to the same standards as other automotive stuff.

      ICE vehicles also have severe problems when ambient and/or cooling water leaks into the crankcase, transmission, differential, or the intake (hydro lock), so this issue is not unique to EVs.

      This kind of sealing works.

      Here’s a video of a Nissan Leaf fording deep water:
      https://youtu.be/Y9plRzRZ_PY

      How is your differential more immune to water infiltration than a battery? Water will interfere with the lubricant and cause a differential to self destruct, too. A differential needs to be sealed, just like a battery.

      An EV is likely a better choice in deep water, because it has all of the same sealing requirements and fewer moving parts. It doesn’t need a snorkel to keep running in deep water.

  • avatar

    GM will sell 10,000 EV hummers a year. It won’t get any better than that. Only GM would bring back a damaged brand name as an EV.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think it’ll sell in modest numbers, but I don’t think volume is the main function of the model. The actual function of the vehicle is probably twofold:

    1) Work the kinks out of the platform. Remember, this is brand-new tech for GM, and they’re basically betting the company on it, so it makes sense to roll it out on a limited-production vehicle before using it on higher-volume models.
    2) This is clearly a halo car – GM is going to be using this same platform on higher-volume pickups and SUVs, and folks who buy them probably remember Hummers fondly.

    So, if the thing’s not garbage, and sells in decent numbers, it’ll succeed. But I think it’s really more of a “coming attractions” reel from the company.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    This doesn’t need to sell very many copies to succeed for GM.

    What it has to do that’s critical for GM: help ensure the typical Chevy truck buyer won’t feel that his manhood is threatened if he buys a 2025 Sliverado Electric for $50k to replace his previous V8-powered truck. I suspect that the constellation of insane electric trucks coming in the next 2-3 years (including this one) actually will help accomplish that goal.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I’m in Los Angeles and already know this will be an absolute SMASH HIT. Here, at least. As said above, this isn’t targeting traditional loyal truck buyers, it’s targeting people who want bling and freshness and cool factor. More like Range Rover / Escalade / high-end bro-dozer crowd.

    The number of 2WD trucks I see bro-dozed out indicates most of these buyers don’t really care about true “truck-like” performance specs. The fact that it’s electric will make it seem new and cool and futuristic. Would not be surprised to see major ADM’s on this.

  • avatar
    Shockrave Flash Has Crashed

    This has the potential to be really cool. I applaud GMs daring on this. You still are stuck with their dealer network though. That said, I would have no use for it.

  • avatar
    stuki

    As long as it’s simultaneously both expensive and practically useless, it will no doubt sell in profitable absolute numbers to the yahoos on Fed welfare who are the market for overpriced, rather pointless nonsense these days.

    What it won’t do, is make a meaningful difference to anything more practically meaningful than being vehicle number 306 in Leno’s garage. Leno’s cool though. As may the Hummer be. Perhaps he’ll get one, in order to find out. If nothing else, I doubt it’s meaningfully less practically useful, than similarly Flash Gordon’esque turbine cars and the like.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    The battery packs are sealed (and water cooled) to the same standards as other automotive stuff.

    ICE vehicles also have severe problems when ambient and/or cooling water leaks into the crankcase or the intake (hydro lock), so this issue is not unique to EVs.

    This kind of sealing works.

    Here’s a video of a Nissan Leaf fording deep water:
    https://youtu.be/Y9plRzRZ_PY

    An EV is likely a better choice in deep water, due to its inherent immunity to hydro locking the engine. No cylinders means no snorkel needed.

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