It’s a moment that may turn the perception of electric vehicles on its head – America’s highest earning basketball star advertising, in the country’s largest sporting event of the year, a completely silent, all-electric Hummer.
An all-electric version of the gas-guzzling monster truck (as utes are known in the US) has been rumoured to be on GM’s drawing board since June last yar, and is now officially a thing thanks to James’ “Quiet Revolution” Super Bowl advertisement.
It wasn’t the only EV commercial presented during the Super Bowl broadcast, with the Ford Mach-E featuring Idris Elba, the Audi e-Tron courtesy of Maisie Williams and the Porsche Taycan also making appearances.
The all-electric Hummer, which will be available from the northern hemisphere fall (autumn) of 2021, promises to shape up against – and possibly dwarf – other electric utility trucks such as Tesla’s polarising “budget” Cybertruck, Rivian’s R1T ute and Ford’s all-electric F150.
Its price is under wraps, but given Rivian has recently dropped the price of its electric ute and SUV, presumably to compete with the more affordable Cybertruck that is priced at a range of $US39,900-69,900 (about $A59,800-104,600 at today’s rates), we imagine GM will need to remain competitive.
Getting an ad placement in Super Bowl is a big deal – the most expensive spots can cost a reported $US5.6 million ($A8.37 million) according to CNN Business, and there have always been questions about whether it is value for money.
James, the Los Angeles Lakers forward, made $US134 million ($A200 million) in the last year, according to GQ, so it was a big, and potentially pricey, catch for the electric Hummer, which will revive a brand that tanked a decade ago as a fossil fuel vehicle.
“GMC builds premium and capable trucks and SUVs and the GMC Hummer EV takes this to new heights,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of Global Buick and GMC in a statement.
“We are excited to debut our revolutionary zero-emissions truck during the biggest night in TV advertising.
James, says he has been a fan of Hummer since high school. “I’m proud to be a part of announcing the new EV model. The truck may be quiet, but the performance numbers speak for themselves.”
You can see the 30-second advert for yourself here:
With a galloping 1,000 horsepower (745.7kW), the new Hummer promises to bring zero-emissions transport to Americans in a way that has not yet been seen.
It will, according to GMC, offer a massive 11,500 pound-feet – that is, 15,591Nm – of torque (although worth noting this is torque at the axle, and not comparative with torque usually advertised by automakers).
This will give it, GMC says, the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph (0-96.5km/hr) in three seconds.
“That’s nuts,” said James in a behind the scenes video released by GM on the Super Bowl advert, which you can also see below.
The advert and the behind the scenes video don’t give much else away – GMC will officially reveal the Hummer EV on May 20, 2020 so we will have to wait until then to find out more.
Electric vehicles were represented like never before in this year’s Super Bowl advertising, with not just the Hummer EV on show but also the Ford Mach-E courtesy of Idris Elba, the Audi e-Tron courtesy of Maisie Williams and the Porsche Taycan.
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.