The GMC Hummer EV: Well, Well, Well… How the Turntables!

After the press release Ed Williamson, owner of a GMC dealership in Miami said, “I think it’s wonderful that they’ve taken this vehicle that was the icon of anti-green, if you will, and made it the opposite….” and I couldn’t agree more. Back in February 2020, General Motors decided to dismantle the Hummer brand and salvage its resources. Yet another victim for the menacing year that has been 2020, or so everyone thought. The reservations for the new GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 sold out in about 10 minutes! So I don’t think the brand is going out of business anytime soon.

The Specs for the GMC Hummer EV

There is a lot of hype surrounding this car and it’s all for good reason. The car is jam-packed with top-of-the-line specs and features. It is sure to make an all-electric enthusiast squeal in joy, while keeping the power hungry purists happy. The EV Edition 1 comes with a 3-motor engine; Two motors individually controlling the rear wheels while one motor controls the front wheels. In combination these three motors produce up to 11,500 lb-ft of wheel torque.
This number does sounds pretty high when compared to other electric cars. That’s because most electric cars advertise motor torque whereas the EV Edition 1 advertises the wheel torque. Wheel Torque is is measured at the wheel after the motor torque is passed to it by a reduction gear box. Most people take the 11,500 lb-ft number by it’s face value without understanding the difference between wheel and motor torque and compare it to cars that advertise the latter.

The Motors

There is a special mode on the EV Edition 1 that reduces the ground clearance and ramps up the motors. This lets you go from 0-60 in about 3 seconds! GMC called it “Watts-to-Freedom”, a name as bizarre as the feature. The EV Edition 1 claims an enormous 350mi range with a 200+kWH 400-volt battery. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. The Edition I has two 400-volt battery packs connected in parallel. But when a compatible 800-volt charger is connected, it uses inbuilt mechanisms to transform it into two batteries connected in series. This increases the capacity to 800-volts. Thereby increasing the charging speed.

Batteries and Charging

GMC claims that using this fast charging technique they can add up to 100mi worth of power by charging for just 10 minutes. The innovations in battery technology doesn’t end there. The individual 400-volt battery pack is actually just 12 battery modules connected in series. These battery modules communicate with each other wirelessly. This saves the company time and resources that would otherwise be spent on cable management for all the 24 battery modules. It reduces complexity for future servicing and repair.

Additional Features of the GMC Hummer EV

Protecting these batteries is a metal armor that spans across the underbody of the car. The underbody of the car also has cameras in the front and in the back. These cameras act like spotters for when you’re off-roading. There are sprayers right next to the camera connected directly to the windshield wiper fluid reservoir. This is to clean the camera when it gets dirty. There are 18 different cameras including the two underbody cameras that gives you a wide field of view of what’s happening in your surroundings.
It also assists their “Super Cruise” feature, which is their version of Tesla’s Autopilot. But is currently only supported on 200,000mi of compatible roads. GMC is promises that the compatible roads will increase soon. The EV Edition 1 comes with their Adaptive Air Suspension. In standard mode it gives the car 10.1” ground clearance. But when needed, you can toggle the “Extract Mode” that lifts the car up by an additional 6”. Just in case you’ve gotten yourself stuck while off-roading.

Wheels and Tyres

The suspensions are attached to a couple of pairs of 35” Goodyear Wrangler Tires but the car can natively handle tires up to 37”. Another neat feature that comes with the EV Edition 1 is the ability of the rear wheels of the car to rotate in the same direction as the front wheels. GMC calls this the “Crab Walk” as it lets the car move diagonally. The EV Edition 1 also comes with torque vectoring, which allows you to control the torque on each wheel individually which gives you more control over the car while off-roading.

The Interiors of the GMC Hummer EV

The roof of the car is modular, meaning that they come off the top of the car which turns it into an open air truck. They chose to call this the “Infinity Sky Roof”. The glass panels that detach from the roof are called “Modular Sky Panels”. The panels when removed fit pretty snug in the front trunk space so you don’t have to worry about misplacing or breaking any of the panels.
GMC actually went ham on the space theme, seeing how their interiors are inspired by the Moon and the Lunar Lander, CF Tranquility which was the first spacecraft to land on the moon. You can find topographical maps of the moon, specifically from the area where the CF Tranquility landed dotted around the interiors of the car.

The Variants

Apart from the Hummer EV Edition 1, there are 3 other models in the Hummer EV Line-Up that are scheduled to come out in the next 4 years. The above graph shows the difference in Range, Power and Price between the different models. The GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 is set to come out in Fall 2021, the EV3X will be available in Fall 2022, the EV2X will be available from Spring 2023 and the EV2 will be available starting Spring 2024.


Image Credits: GMC Official Website

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