When it comes to zero emissions vehicles, the last car on anyone’s mind has to be a Hummer – the huge, gas-guzzler that is usually associated with the age of consumption, particularly fuel.
But an electric Hummer is not being ruled out by General Motors, which committed in November 2018 to switching to all-electric drivetrains and has started the ambitious yet drastic task of undertaking cost-cutting measures – from shutting factories to culling staff – in order to fund the switch.
At a recent press conference, president of the US car giant, Mark Reuss, was asked about the company’s plans to make an electric Hummer, and did not rule it out.
“I love Hummer,” Reuss said on the sidelines as reported by Bloomberg’s David Welch.
“I’m not sure. We’re looking at everything.”
GM CEO Mary Barra made comments in May at the company’s earnings call that the carmaker would definitely include electric pickups (or rather, utes).
“We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs, including full-size pickups,” she said at the time.
Since announcing the company’s intention to go all-electric, GM has already let the public in on a number of plans, including a Cadillac that will be built on the Bolt electric powertrain.
As noted by Welch previously, ute/pickup sales are essential to GM profits and an electrification strategy cannot do without some form of electric pickup.
But there will be some stiff competition, not least from EV pioneer Tesla, which is developing a “cyberpunk” electric ute that CEO Elon Musk has said will be priced at under $US50,000 ($A72,700 converted).
Chicago-based startup Rivian also has serious plans, having unveiled its R1T electric ute and R1S electric SUV that it says will have some serious off-road and adventure features such as 1 metre wading, power-sharing and an optional pull-out kitchen.
But the Hummer? As Welch points out, the Hummer has seen its day, with sales peaking in 2006 and all but dropping off within a decade of its evolution from the 1990s military machine Humvee to a rapper favourite in 2000-2010.
Can a full battery electric version revive the iconic gas-guzzler for the brand (but in non-gas-guzzling form)?
With its oversize body and no doubt – if GM did it – a very cool amount of torque, it would surely spark a whole new generation of monster truck clashes.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.