A Closer Look at the Hummer EV
Oct. 29, 2020—You might argue the merits of an all-electric Hummer, but you cannot argue the successful launch for General Motors.
The new EV truck has the auto world abuzz, thanks in part to primetime ad buys and big-name spokespeople like Lebron James. But aside from those aspects, this electric truck is a really notable vehicle at a highly transitional time for the automotive industry. It's a production-ready EV truck from a big North American OE. That carries its own credibility amid a sea of startups and younger companies like Tesla (Ford's electric F-150 could be released around the same time as the Hummer EV. Check out ADAPT's roundup here).
There's a lot to cover with this model, including four-wheel turning that allows for a "crab-walk" feature. If you're not fully up to date on all the fuss, here's a quick rundown of the biggest facts and figures around GM's Hummer EV.
You've likely seen the power numbers in a lot of headlines. GM says the Hummer EV can produce 1,000 horsepower. That comes via a powertrain that includes three electric motors. According to Jalopnik, the Hummer will employ one AC motor for each rear wheel and a third powering the two front wheels. That power can be fully realized in a "Watts to Freedom" launch control mode that tunes the vehicle to reach 60 mph in three seconds.
This is how GM describes it:
"As the vehicle readies itself for Watts to Freedom, a series of interior experiences convey the feeling of a 'pre-launch countdown,' including interactive controls, unique sounds through the Bose speakers and screen animations. The vehicle also lowers two inches to prepare for the launch, utilizing a lower center of gravity."
In most of GM's media material, the torque number is qualified as a "GM-estimated" 11,500-lb-ft, which is an eyebrow-raising figure to gearheads trying to squeeze three-figure torque numbers out of their V-8s. Multiple outlets point out that torque in an EV is much different from that of an internal-combustion engine. Most cite this helpful Engineering Explained video for technical reference. The summary, according to Road and Track, is that electric motors put power directly to the wheels, and the figure GM cites comes from all of the three motors' torque figures at the wheel, multiplied by the gear ratio. The result is an insanely large number. That's not to say that the Hummer EV won't have plenty of torque, however.
Perhaps the most impressive figure is the price, which is a cool $112,595. Cheaper trims will be available later on that bring the price down to a measly $80,000.
About that Powertrain...
The three motors in the Hummer EV receive power from two layers of vertical cell modules, which have up to 800V of power and have fast-charging capabilities. The range is rated at around 350 miles, which is impressive for a vehicle of its size.
This is all part of GM's Ultium Drive system, which includes the company's electric powertrain batteries, motors and a transmission. It will also utilize software tuning to help manage the output and charging to optimize for durability and longevity, GM's press release says. It's an example of the investment companies are making into electric powertrains, but in the case of the Hummer EV, it also contributes to the way the vehicle drives.
GM says that the powertrain's position is in a "skateboard" style that's becoming popular with EV builders. Here's what GM says about the Hummer's structure:
"The pack’s low mounting position in the chassis contributes to a low center of gravity, enhancing the vehicle’s overall feeling of control and stability. The compact construction of the Ultium battery pack also contributes to HUMMER EV’s ideal off-road proportions, including a short front overhang and short front breakover angle."
For owner perks, the structure also allows GM to make possible options like a removeable glass roof.