General Motors has big plans for electrification, already promising 20 new electrified models in the next few years. But it’s also working on an EV truck platform, which reportedly is being considered for an electric revival of ostentatious off-road brand Hummer, of all things.
Bloomberg reports that GM is “mulling over” bringing back Hummer as an electric brand, citing anonymous sources:
For now, it’s just an idea GM is considering as it plans which vehicles will be included in a fleet of electrified SUVs and trucks, say people familiar with the matter. The Hummer name has surfaced as way to tap growing demand for rugged SUVs with off-road capabilities, while avoiding the gasoline-burning image that made the brand something of a pariah a decade ago, said the people, who asked not to be named because the conversations are private.
When asked about it, GM President Mark Reuss was unconvinced. “I love Hummer,” Reuss said on the sidelines of a press conference on June 12. “I’m not sure. We’re looking at everything.”
The last of the expensive and infamously gas-guzzling Hummers was built back in 2010, after GM failed to find a buyer for the brand after reviewing it among economic downturn and bankruptcy.
The third model, the Hummer H3, shared a GM truck platform with Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon of the time. It sounds like that may be the direction GM takes Hummer going forward, except with its new electric truck platform that’s currently in development.
GM is currently working on two major battery-electric vehicle programs. The first is its BEV3 project, which will develop passenger cars, crossover SUVs and a variety of other small and mid-sized models. That’s part of the automaker’s pledge to put 20 EVs on the road globally by 2023. The second program would make electric pickups and other full-size vehicles, some of which can go off-road.
In its family of brands, GM has large SUVs — such as the Chevrolet Suburban and Cadillac Escalade — as well as hulking GMC vehicles including the Sierra truck and Yukon SUV. GMC also has Denali-labeled models that denote luxury and an AT4 brand for off-road capable trucks. Any of those potentially could be offered with electric powertrains, Reuss said.
Even if GM goes through with a plan to make an electric Hummer, it would be years away. GM’s planned electric-truck project is well underway, but those models aren’t expected to launch until after the debut of the BEV3 architecture for smaller vehicles. Cadillac or one of the higher-volume brands would probably get some of the first models on the larger electric-truck-based platform.
Turning Hummer electric would be a very woke move by GM, taking what was once a caricature of automaker indifference in the face of growing emissions concerns and an icon of America’s insatiable appetite for giant vehicles, and turning it into something like a zero-emission marketing campaign.
But it also raises a lot of questions about how much these new cars would stick to the Hummer ethos. How off-road capable would they actually be? How modifiable? How big?
As refreshing and fun as it would be to see some new Hummer metal on the streets without all of the fist-pumping pre-recession wash over it, shouldn’t Cadillac probably be the home of giant, expensive electric SUVs at GM? Maybe I shouldn’t say. I don’t want to ruin this for anybody.