First Drive! 2022 GMC Hummer EV Is 9,000 Pounds Of Bad Boy Tech
So I’m finally driving the all new GMC Hummer EV and wow gotta say this is something. Gotta love it Tom. This is Henry you’ll meet him later. Everything about Hummer was controversial when production shut down in 2010. The H1 and H2 were too big to garage in most cases. Their aggressive designs scared men, women and children. And they were such gas guzzlers, the Chinese government forbid a company in Chengdu from buying the brand from General Motors. Like the T-Rex in Jurassic Park, Hummer is back, a sub-brand of GMC now. And maybe, just maybe, environmentalists can rally around this one.
Hummer is an EV now, no tailpipe emissions at all. It still has the Hummer attitude… and controversy. For starters, this is not a small truck. In fact, at 18 feet long, this is the largest Hummer ever, by some 13 inches. Though that is just 4 inches longer than the mid-sized Canyon pickup. It’s the width. Clearance lights are legally required at 87 inches across, five more than GMCs Sierra 2500 HD pickup an inch wider than an H1. So Hummer EV casts quite a shadow. And this “Super Truck” as GMC calls it,
tips the scales at over 9,000 pounds. Chances of the Sierra Club seal of approval are… iffy. Hummer H1 cost 140 grand back in the day. So the top-spec Edition 1 models we’re driving are kind of bargains at just over 112 thousand bucks. And it does stuff old Hummers can’t, like drive sideways, sprint to 60 miles an hour (SOUND UP) in 3 seconds. It can motor handsfree for miles, and it packs 18 cameras, enough to outfit an NFL broadcast production team. Plus the EPA rated range is 329 miles. Before I dig into all that, here’s what makes it go. Edition 1s have an oil cooled three
motor set-up. One up front and two in the rear which allows active torque vectoring. All together there’s 1,000 horsepower with 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque on tap though most will go with 1,200 lb-ft of motor torque as a reference. No transfer case, none needed. There’s an adaptive air suspension that features a recovery mode. It gives the Hummer EV 16 inches of ground clearance or 32 inches of water fording, same as an H1. It takes about 35 seconds I sped up the video.
Four-wheel steering too. That’s covered later. This is all cool but the crown jewel is GM’s Ultium battery system which is modular and charges incredibly fast. This pack size is 205kWh. It consists of 24 battery modules and what you’re not seeing here if you remove this cover is that there’s 24 cells inside of this battery pack in a 3D figuration. On the team we think about this as two 12 module packs in parallel inside of one enclosure. And so when we’re in propulsion mode and we’re driving or doing basically anything but charging, we’re operating the packs in parallel when we connect to 800V capable DC fast charging station, we sence that automatically and we can re configure the pack to be in series. So essentially, nothing moves but we will take the packs and wire them in series which raises the voltage to 800V ans allows it to achieve 350 kW of peak charging.
That’s right, if a 350kW commercial station actually delivers it, Ultium takes on the full amount, unlike most that are limited to 240-250 kW. 20 to 100% Level 2 charging? If you have an 11.5kW capable wall mount unit it’s about 16.5 hours And Ultium’s packaging is unique. We’re really proud of the wireless battery management system. So it eliminated 55% of the connections from prior battery packs at General Motors and reduced the wiring in the pack by 90% . It’s almost totally wireless so the only connections between the modules are coolant
and the high-voltage bus. Down the road, if you need a module replacement for some reason and we have had by mid decade will likely evolve the chemistry of our cell, you can actually mix that new module chemistry into your vehicle in service if needed. I’m going to do a separate video on Ultium later.
What we’re doing here today, Terrain Mode is our slow technical rock crawling mode. There’s quite a learning curve to this truck so, in the shadow of the Cardinals home turf, GMC engineers show us the ropes the day before we head off road. So this can cycle through for terrain mode, tow haul mode, normal mode, my mode, and off-road so we’re gonna be an off-road mode.
This is to learn features so we’re schooled for actual off roading. It’s pretty deep, I’ll probably forget more than I remember. I’m in terrain mode… There are a number of drive modes and these make a tremendous difference. And if I lift off just lift off the accelerator the vehicle coasts to the stop I don’t have to touch the brake pedal, again very similar the same driving inputs you would have you doing one peddle driving. In this terrain mode one pedal driving which is mechanical brake based, you get this gradual stop that allows me to, again, assess the terrain, maybe I’m not sure about what’s in front of me. I don’t have to jump on the brake pedal every time. I shift down to the low range it’s going
to be much more aggressive. Similar as if I was stabbing a brake so I lift up off the accelerator, it grabs us a little bit more aggressively, you see a little more head toss from passengers. Terrain Mode uses regeneration AND the brake system for One-Pedal Driving, no need to left foot brake. And to add even more regen braking, there’s this. Just like on Volt and Bolt. And WTF. In Hummer speak that’s Watts to Freedom. Engage it and Hummer preps itself by lowering the suspension a couple inches, and warming the drivetrain if the motors and pack are cold. And if you’re ready, go ahead and put it in drive. So you already have your brake applied so
go ahead and left foot on the brake and right foot all the way to the floor. It even offers up a little theatre It’s really cool how the seat just throbs. Right? Ready? Yeah. Wow! Yeah. Just Yeah. That’s like the best Disney ride ever. And really the brakes are amazing. Yeah quite something, it never gets old. OK I need to make more money. Okay so Crabwalk? …which might seem like a gimmick but in practice can be useful on the trail. Back-and-forth… there you go. That’s really weird. That’s so weird.
It feels like I’m on ice, sure yeah I’ve heard that before. One of my best attributes is that I never get motion sickness. Crabwalk could trigger that in anyone. This is something you need to experience.
It is a very weird visual. Yeah. And it’s a very weird sensation Other demonstrations? For-wheel-steering effectively lets the rear follow the front in a perfect circle. 37.1 feet is the turn circle with four wheel steer engaged
I came to Arizona hoping to escape Seattle drizzle…. No such luck on our off-road day. The precipitation shows that rain runs directly off the top into the cabin when the window is open, the removable Infinity Roof panels lack a drip rail. It’s nearly 50 miles to the trailhead so I’ll get to see how the Hummer EV does on the highway. I’ve partnered up with The Detroit News’ Henry Payne. He’s got a lot of track experience, owns a Model 3 and has an excellent podcast,
check it out. The first thing we’re interested in is the latest version of Super Cruise that works even when towing, Hummer EV can tug 7,500 pounds. That will reduce range. You own a Tesla Model 3. How does Super Cruise compare to Autopilot? It is very similar in terms of operation with a hands-free using the auto lane change. The big difference is with the infrared camera reading your face. And in Super Cruise you’re totally hands-free where is the
Autopilot is constantly nannying you for confirmation that that you’re are paying attention. So with the Autopilot you need to get a little tug on the wheel or roll the scroll wheel. The ride quality is remarkably comfortable for a truck, tracking true down the road without micro corrections. It drives a size smaller than it is. The main gripe? (WIND NOISE) The bolt upright windshield causes wind noise at highway speeds. Approaching the off road section, the weather clears. Perfect. Arizona needs the rain,
and dust will be dampened on the trail. Hummer EV will be available as an SUV this fall with a wheelbase shorter by 9 inches improving off road performance. Hummer has GMC’s MultiPro tailgate it is a pretty trick. The system obviously a regular tailgate, it’s got to stop so if you’re carrying lumber that’s kind of nice, you can drop it so that you’ve got a step. There’s also a sound system
in here, plus if you’re working in the field , you’ve got a desk. Some of these rigs carry spares, which don’t mount below. Obviously that cuts into the usability of the five-foot bed and it’s 1,300 pound payload rating. Since Hummer rides high, the optional power tonneau cover would be a great way to go. All right, looks like we’re coming up on some rough stuff.
How does four and a half tons of steel, glass, aluminum, plastic and battery feel off road? Remarkably nimble I have to say. Though apparently that weight will keep it from legally crossing the Brooklyn Bridge. This really does feel like it’s a size smaller than it is. And they always tell you, you know that big trucks really lose maneuverability of Wranglers and Broncos, just because of the short wheelbase. But you get this rear wheel steer in this vehicle and it shortens and wheelbase considerably. Yeah it is it’s really nimble. I mean we’re
really steeped in this stuff and we’re kind of like, yeah four wheel steer is great. And a very comfortable ride I have to say. Yeag got a love the air suspension yeah. We’re often in Terrain mode that allows one pedal driving. It can be made more or less aggressive. Keep in mind it always has brake calipers engaged so I’ll guess it will cause wear to the pads.
These cameras are great. Yeah cameras are usually beneficial you really should switch them on, the cameras as soon as you go off road and then you get this nice big screen. There is no dedicated hill decent control, it’s not needed. Power recuperation and drive modes take care of that. Yeah see the washboard stuff. This is where the air suspension really shows it’s stuff. Yeah we’re going 35 miles an hour through the stuff right now and it’s soaking it up really nicely.
There are five skid plates and two underbody panels to shield the battery and motors units. That’s another thing that’s cool, as they crest the hill you can see the bottom of the truck and it’s flat. That’s another thin,g is it doesn’t have a lot of stuff for rocks to catch on. Yeah righ, you don’t worry t about a gas tank underneath don’t worry about the pig Remember there’s no transfer case. The front differential can be locked electronically. The two motors in back can simulate a locking diff. And there’s true torque vectoring. So I don’t know if the GoPro shows it but looking at the trucks ahead, it’s really fun to watch the four wheel steering because the truck just snakes around stuff, and it’s just a blast watch. Standard four wheel steers is a huge benefit to this
vehicle when you’re off road you’re trying to get through tight spaces trying to get through pointy rocks really works all the time. Yeah, four wheel steering in combination with these cameras makes this pretty good off-roader, if you had any doubts. There’s so much power and torque, Hummer never seldom feels it’s four and a half ton heft. That’s thought to be 2,500 pounds more than the F150 Lightning. So, you have 9,000 pounds of momentum on this muddy section, that’s about the only time the weight really shows up here. Yeah, I’m fascinated by the
weight because I believe the weight is a Class 2 truck, the truck weighs more than it can tow, it’s unusual for a truck. And usually you’re dealing with 7,000 pounds of truck towing 12,000 pounds and this can only tow 7500. So you know there are limitations to electric motors. Yeah. That Ultium pack makes up a third of Hummer EVs heft. Pick your favorite compact car, and more than likely, this battery’s heavier. Excess doesn’t always mean success, but Hummer EV makes a case for it. These are preproduction units,
and normally manufactures ask us to ignore any squeaks and rattles. There are none happening. Man we’ve got four seasons in one day, we have summer, clouds, rain, sun, looks like rain’s moving in And just like that, a squall comes roaring through. It doesn’t last long but it does add some slickness. And then the rain turns to sleet. Wait a minute. I’m in Arizona, right? We’re getting hailed on now. I think I’ve had enough. How
about you? Yea. Want to get in our truck? No thanks. Wow f*** this sh**. I do have to wonder about the people that end up buying this. It’s over 100 grand. Are they really gonna be doing stuff like this because, I mean, this isn’t super severe but it is a lot more than owners are going to take it on. Yeah but that’s where you look for a Hummer club.
I suspect buyers won’t care about efficiency but here goes. Hummer EV is rated overall at 47 MPGe. A Chevy Bolt EUV scores 115, Rivian R1T is a better comparison at 70 MPGe. So brute strength is Hummer’s forte, not efficiency. Just like the old days.
And now for your moment of zen… in a Hummer. I would say this is like a giant RC car but the Hummer EV is actually quieter. Seriously. What I really like about this is… it’s so quiet. There is no engine noise, there’s nothing. All you hear is the tires, and you know, some rubbing up against the trees. Sound is one of those things we’ve all grown up with. I love the sound V8 but the quietness is great, You can hear the birds chirping, if there were any birds. And you can talk. Yeah it’s peaceful.
The 14-speaker Bose system provides unique cabin sounds for each of the different drive modes. They’re really too faint for my mics to pick up. BANG You’re not really trying unless you have a dent or two every once in a while.
I have gotten to that point and think, what else can a vehicle do? You think vehicles have gotten to that point where they can’t get any better and then you drive something like this. You watch the four wheel steering, you got all of this power and low end torque. It’s a good time to be in the business. It’s good to have a $100,000 vehicle too! Yeah! And off roading one that’s not yours. You’re right. That’s the trick kids. Everything clears up quickly and we stop to enjoy the view.
What better way to enjoy it than taking off the Infinity Roof panels? It’s easy to do, we don’t have an owner’s manual and it’s intuitive. Each of them are numbered so there’s no guessing when re installing them . And they have their own spot, you could take these pizza boxes out if you want to use this yawning space for storage but the panels are polymer, not glass. They’ll probaly scratch if not properly stowed. But they
are light, making the process easy. And no, the doors aren’t removable. At least easily. I’ve not said much about the interior. It’s a very Hummer space, macho to the extreme and roomy. The Ultium platform is board-flat, this console hides that fact, there’s storage underneath. Lots of grab handles, you’ll need those on the trail. Plenty of storage, the console is quite deep. Lots of Easter eggs too that play to the Hummers “moon shot” development process. Seems like GM’s playing down the military heritage. This color trim is a bit gold chain
lifestyle for my tastes. And while this fabric has a cool Major Matt Mason space suit vibe, not sure white is practical for a tough off-road machine. The seats, covered in neoprene are comfortable and durable. The interface runs Android Automotive. My time messing with it was very limited but I can tell you the Unreal Engine graphics are great, maybe too nice, they’re kind of distracting. This reflection is a camera angle thing. To the driver the displays are very clear.
Both this and gauge cluster are raised high so everything is kept in the driver’s sightline. A quick look at the backseat, no, Evil Twin didn’t come to Phoenix but I can tell you that this is wide enough for three full sized adults. Cushions are a little bit low so thigh support is average but there are so many features back here. You’ve got a separate climate zone, you’ve got heated seats, you’ve got storage, you’ve got places to charge your phone. Seat back pockets? There are two of them.
Cupholders. These things are kind of cool, you can stash camera gear and such. And the seats flip up so there’s plenty of storage. All the way around the Hummer EV is a pretty useful rig. As for design, I’m not going to dwell on it. It’s pure Hummer and won’t be mistaken for anything else. This will be loved or loathed and you know who you are. It’s like a battery powered Tonka truck come to life. Some of it is form follows function,
the ramp of the front and rear allow excellent approach and departure angles. The lighted grille isn’t necessary but it’s cool. There will be some snickering from the Jeep crowd because it wears 35-inch Goodyear Wranglers. 37’s are available. As for size,
it doesn’t look as big as it is in person, and the SUV will be shorter by 20 inches. Hard to know if the 329-mile range estimate is accurate. Everything about our trip was Inefficient- freeway driving (and I’m not admitting my speed), a Watts to Freedom sprint, rain-soaked highways, and a couple hours of off roading. The only advantage? Temperatures in the high 70s. So extrapolating what I know about EVs, it seems like it could hit the estimated range in normal driving.
And set a destination in the navi and GM engineers say it will locate charge station, though it seems only as the battery gets low. Let’s wrap this up with Red Light Green Light. Green Light- The deep goodness of the Ultium propulsion system, you’ll notice the power but it’s geeky advanced tech is even more impressive. The commercial charging speed of 350kW is unmatched by other mainstream automakers. The comfort and drivability on and off road must be experienced to be appreciated. Very impressive. It’s stuffed with tech, Super Cruise, Crabwalk, Watts to Freedom, 4-wheel steering and so much more that I can’t cover because of time. Yellow Light- Yes the commercial charge rate is impressive if you can find a 350kW station but the huge 205 kWh pack still takes time to juice up, especially at home. The roomy cabin accommodates
five full sized adults, with those white interior panels, let’s hope they’re clean ones. It feels incredibly nimble on the trail, but on narrow section it might be denied passage. Red Light- Open the windows and rain drops straight into the interior. The spare tire will be riding in the bed. At speed you’ll be hearing a good amount of wind noise off the A-pillars. At
47 MPGe, pretty sure this 9,000 pound hulk is the most inefficient electric vehicle on the market. So yeah, the new Hummer EV has some of the old Hummer baggage. But if this is what it takes to get pickup bros interested in electrics, so be it. General Motors is offering an olive branch to get them excited, one that’s the size of a tree trunk. Extreme? Over the top? You bet. But it’s a brilliant machine, more than the sum of its parts.
All right Henry let’s wrap this up. I think this is an incredible vehicle… at an incredible price. But still man if you have the money? 1,000 horsepower, four-wheel-drive, four wheel steering, 35 inch tires, what’s not to like Tom? Well… there’s the excess that Hummer has always dragged around. That’s going to trigger a lot of people. With all of its capability and an electric drivetrain, Hummer has changed for the better. But the bad boy image? It’ll never outrun that. Even in Watts to Freedom mode. Some housekeeping here. I attended a GMC event. Slept in their hotel room and ate their food. Opinions are my own though. And I’d like to thank Henry Payne for
his patience while I jumped out of the car to run ahead and get video on the trail. I had just run a 100 yards ahead when the cloudburst suddenly. happened. So I got drenched. I suffer for my craft And so did Henry since I probably smelled like a wet dog.
And man did I have technical problems. On day one, two of my GoPros fritzed out. And the first run where GMC engineer Aaron Pfau (FOW) explained how to get into Watts to Freedom my mics simply shut down for some reason. Audio. It’s not just for radio anymore. And because of those issues, I couldn’t get to the hydrogen fuel cell charging that was going on near the stadium. GM brought these in instead of diesel generators. How eco green of it. Hope you got something out of my look at the GMC Hummer EV, in challenging conditions. Instead of a fun fact I’m going to leave you with a story. Back in the day when I was testing a Hummer H2 which
is about this size some woman came up to me and absolutely browbeat me for driving such a horrible vehicle for the environment. I mean she really took me to task. And I explained it’s not mine and I’m testing. She didn’t care she was upset about it and she walked away and she got into…. a Chevy Suburban. Seriously. I just had to laugh. Thanks for watching,
remember, subscribe to this channel, follow me on Twitter , I’m very active there, and if you have a question leave it in the comments that’s driven I’m Tom Voelk