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2022 GMC Hummer EV: How does an electric pickup beat Porsche … – Detroit Free Press

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup is an automotive platypus, and not just because the massive, nearly silent electric vehicle looks like a visitor from an alternate reality.
Like the egg-laying, duck-billed aquatic mammal 18th-century British “experts” famously dismissed as a fraud put together with mismatched pieces of other creatures, the Hummer EV may seem like a box of contradictions, but it’s uniquely suited to its spot in evolution’s progression.
Flamboyantly intended to attract buyers who spurned previous electric vehicles, its styling screams “Hummer,” the in-your-face brand that has became synonymous with extravagant fossil fuel consumption — but it doesn’t have a tailpipe, much less climate-altering emissions.
As aerodynamic as a cinder block, it can accelerate to 60 mph in about 3 seconds, supercar territory.
As wide as a heavy-duty pickup, it slips nimbly in and out of tight spaces thanks to four-wheel steering that seems to shrink the truck to fit.
As it launches a new family of electric vehicles, General Motors had to reestablish its chops for innovation, design and engineering. The $108,700 GMC Hummer EV checks every box so hard it rips the paper.
New EVs are often called would-be Tesla-killers, but that’s a gross oversimplification. Tesla is fabulously successful, but every vehicle it ever sold — just over 2 million, by most estimates — is less than GM sold in the United States alone in 2021, a lousy year for the General.
More:GM’s Barra says self-driving car goes on sale soon
More:GM and Honda team up to build a new series of ‘affordable’ electric vehicles
EV success doesn’t consist of beating Tesla. It requires converting millions of buyers from internal combustion vehicles to EVs.
The GMC Hummer EV was developed not to snake customers from Elon, but to kick the butts of conventional luxury-sport SUVs like the $157,500 Mercedes AMG G 63 and the $166,500 Porsche Turbo E-hybrid.
With up to 1,000 horsepower at the wheels and more tricks up its sleeve than Dr. Strange, the Hummer EV pickup just may do it.
Welcome to the multiverse of EVs, where some will be bare-bones transportation and others can legitimately call themselves “super trucks.”
I recently spent a day driving Hummer EVs through the Arizona desert, highways and suburban Phoenix, including a spring hail and rain squall that turned an already challenging dirt and rock slope into a muddy slip ’n’ slide.
There’s nothing else like it, which is exactly the reason people have always bought Hummers. GM is convinced mixing that with the widely admired GMC brand, loads of technology, a side order of social responsibility — and a soupçon of “Don’t ask. You can’t afford it” — make the GMC Hummer the ideal vehicle to launch its leap into electric vehicles.
Technically a pickup, the Hummer has a roomy five-passenger cabin and a 4-foot, 10-inch bed. 
It weighs an enormous 9,065 pounds — actually 9,243 for the well-equipped model I tested. The limited Edition 1 model — already sold out — cost $108,700, has three electric motors that produce 1,000 hp and 1,200 pound-feet of torque. (You may have seen the gasp-inducing, slightly overwrought claim of 11,500 pound-feet. That’s measured at the wheels, after the torque has been multiplied by gearing in the drivetrain. The 1,200 pound-feet figure is more consistent with how torque is generally measured at the crankshaft of an engine, and so stinkin’ impressive GMC didn’t have to play games with it.)
The Hummer has every feature you can imagine, and a few you probably can’t unless you’ve seen the adorable commercial in which a legion of crabs bow down before the electric behemoth’s ability to move sideways.
To name a few:
GM builds the Hummer EV in its Factory ZERO in Detroit-Hamtramck. Production will expand beyond the $108K Edition 1 later this year, eventually including a “base” EV2 model expected to start at $79,995.
That base model was initially expected to go on sale in 2024, but GM has accelerated the pace to introduce its new EVs. There’s a good chance the $99,995 EV3X model will hit the road late this year, ahead of the original schedule.
Hummer EV model range
Edition 1: $112,700, being delivered now
Hummer EV3X: $99,995, on sale in 2022
Hummer EV2X: $89,995, available 2023
Hummer EV2: $79,995, available 2024
The Hummer’s power and all-wheel drive capability get the headlines, but its four-wheel steering is the real star.
 It makes the big, heavy vehicle remarkably maneuverable, turning the rear wheels in the same or opposite direction as the front ones, depending on conditions. At high speeds, it makes lane changes and the like quicker and smoother. At lower speeds, it reduces the big truck’s turning radius. In crab mode, it allows the Hummer EV to move almost sideways, to get out of a jam, as when one driver accidentally put two wheels over the edge of a steep slope driving off-road. Activating crab mode transformed a potentially ugly situation into a particularly effective tech demo.
Except for the extreme of crab mode, the steering system’s effects are almost unnoticeable. Like all well-engineered vehicles, the Hummer EV simply makes you think you’re driving particularly well today.
The Hummer’s power is almost overwhelming in WTF max-acceleration mode, which GM engineers endearingly insist stands for “Watts to Freedom.” Wattever, dude.
In regular driving, throttle response is immediate. You can decelerate with the brake pedal, or by selecting one-pedal driving, which increases energy regeneration. I generally find myself using one-pedal driving in EVs that offer it.
The Hummer EV pickup can tow up to 7,500 pounds and has a payload — the weight of people and cargo in cab and bed — of 1,300 pounds. Neither figure is particularly impressive, but look for GMC’s upcoming electric Sierra pickup to focus on those characteristics.
The Hummer EV pickup is so heavy it falls outside the EPA’s mandate to rate energy efficiency, but GM used the same procedure to come up with a range of 329 miles on a charge. Charging at 350kW/800v takes 12 minutes for 100 miles range, 42 minutes to go from 20% to 80% charge. The more common 150kW/400v DC fast chargers roughly double those times.
Nearly 90% of EV charging happens at 240v in homes and public garages. That takes 16 to 24 hours for a 100% charge, depending on the charger.
Electric drivetrains are ideal for off-roading. They can deliver power more precisely to each wheel than conventional engines, adjusting to slip or grip with the speed of electrons rather than mechanical gears.
The Hummer EV pickup has one motor for each rear wheel. Choreographing their minuet was one of engineers’ biggest challenges. The front wheels are driven by a single motor and have a conventional electronic locking differential for traction.
The Hummer conquered rocks with ease, and with less sound than an internal combustion drivetrain. Selecting a drive setting that maximized grip and braking, I climbed and descended steep grades of sand and mud with ease, modulating the accelerator pedal minutely for steady, controlled progress.
The Hummer’s massive weight will be a challenge in some off-road conditions, but its four-wheel steering allowed me to navigate tight corners and gaps that would stymie a conventional pickup the same size.
The bumpers feature tow loops, but there’s no facility to mount a winch on the bumper, a limitation for the most challenging off-roading.
The five-passenger crew cab is about the size of a GMC Sierra or Chevy Silverado full-size pickup. It’s comfortable, with loads of headroom, a big center console and flat rear floor.
The side and rear windows all open. Combined with removable tinted clear plastic roof panels, that allows for open air driving.
Removed, the panels fit in the front trunk, with enough room left over for a pressed grilled cheese sandwich.
The panels allowed a few drips from day’s precipitation into the cab in the early-production Hummer I drove. A substantial amount of water sluiced down when the doors were opened, too, portending unexpected cold showers.
The roof panels are gray to reduce glare and heat. Removable panels are a fine idea, but I found the interior a bit noisy without a fabric cover that could muffle noise from the road, rain and hail. Exterior noises that might be drowned out in an internal-combustion engine can become issues in EVs, which are much quieter, even with carefully tailored electronic sounds to indicate performance.
The controls are generally easy to find, understand and use. A 13-inch landscape orientation manages many functions. In addition to the expected steering wheel controls, the center stack has a dial for volume, but not tuning/track. Controls for climate, heated seats and steering wheel and some other functions get convenient toggles. The instrument cluster offers a wide variety of clear displays. The default background, an off-white topographical map of the moon, was too bright for my taste, but switching to the  “night” setting’s dark background fixed that.  
Base price: $108,700 (all prices exclude $1,595 destination charge)
All-wheel drive electric high-performance off-road 5-passenger SUV
On sale now
Price as tested: $108,700
Motors: Three electric motors, two for rear wheels, one for front.
Output: 1,000 hp; 1,200 pound-feetof torque at the wheels
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Battery: 205kWh lithium-ion
Estimated range: 329 miles on a charge
0-60 time: 3 seconds seconds
Wheelbase: 135.6  inches
Length: 216.8 inches
Width: 86.7 inches
Height: 79.1 inches
Ground clearance: 10.1 inches normal /11.9 terrain mode /15.9 extract mode
Approach angle:  41.5 degrees normal /44.3 terrain/49.7 extract
Departure angle: 31.6 degrees normal/33.7 terrain/38.4 extract
Max. water fording: 32 inches
Turning circle: 37.1 feet
Front trunk volume: 11.3 cubic feet
Box volume: 36.6 cubic feet
Curb weight: 9,065 pounds
Towing capacity: 7,500 pounds
Payload: 1,300 pounds
Assembled in Detroit and Hamtramck


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Deidre Richardson is a tech enthusiast who loves to cover the latest news on smartphones, tablets, and mobile gadgets. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.A, History/Music), you can always find her rocking her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and LG Nexus 5 on a regular basis.