GM has its sights set high as the automaker gears up to release the GMC Hummer EV en masse in 2023 with production scheduled to kick off this fall. And, although the vehicle is electric, drivers can expect the same traditional power the Hummer is lauded for and then some, according to Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer for the GMC.
"These are meant to be fully capable off-road vehicles. It’s a super truck, as we say. There are no excuses, so if we give you all the off-road features that you desire, then the fact that it’s EV takes any excuse out that you would have for range anxiety or charging time," Oppenheiser told Cheddar.
The electric SUV or truck is expected to travel 250 to 300 miles on a single charge and will boast 830 to 1000 horsepower depending on the model. Possibly its most impressive listed feature is a 12-minute charge on an 800-volt connector that will provide the Hummer with enough power to drive up to 100 miles.
When it comes to off-roading features, the Hummer has what's called the crabwalk mode that allows it to move sideways over terrain.
"Because the front and rear wheels both steer, you can have them take the vehicle sideways without the body moving to get you through rock crawling, or you’ve got the wheels will oppose each other and you can do turns in a diameter of a Chevy Bolt EV in a big truck like this," Oppenheiser explained.
Of late, manufacturers worldwide have been impacted by a global semiconductor chip shortage, and as a result, production of various electronic goods has been delayed or halted altogether. Earlier this year, GM CEO Mary Barra even said the shortage could cost the automaker up to $2 billion. However, Oppenheiser stated that the shortage won’t be impacting the production of the new all-electric Hummer, and the company is committed to staying on schedule.
"The Hummer EV has had the support of our senior leadership, including Mary [Barra] and Mark Royce, and we have had a focus to not move our start of production date this fall. To that point, we’ve had our entire purchasing team, our engineering team working with our supplier base. We had a supplier symposium last week to focus on not missing the gate for our Hummer EV launch," he noted.
"We are focused on making sure that we don't compromise the Hummer EV launch, maybe even at the expense of some of our other own GM vehicles."
While autonomous driving is off the table for the Hummer, due to what Oppenheiser described as the driving experience engineers wanted people to discover, the vehicle will come with some features, like Supercruise for automatic lane changing. It's expected to be priced from $80,000 to $110,000, which would make it GM’s most expensive vehicle.
"What makes it stand out is it’s a no-excuses super truck, so it’s got all the off-road capability that you can imagine, yet it’s an electric vehicle so it’s part of our zero, zero, zero philosophy at GM: Zero emissions, zero congestion, and zero crashes," he said.
Headline updated April 7, 2021 at 10:20 a.m. to clarify the Hummer EV Truck, not SUV, is slated for production in fall 2021.