New Hummer EV 2022 review
We get a taste of the new Hummer EV as the heavyweight pick-up hits the road
We didn’t get to try the new Hummer EV off road, where perhaps its myriad features and four-wheel drive may make more sense than it does on-road, where this huge, heavy pick-up doesn’t feel suited to the average tradesperson.
Revitalising a dead car brand isn’t always a good idea, and in the case of Hummer - the big, brash, militaristic marque previously discontinued by GM in 2010 - perhaps you could forgive us for being sceptical from the start. This time, there will be no conquering of battlefields. Hummer’s latest incarnation is fully-electric, and it’s looking to sit at the very top end of America’s rapidly growing EV pick-up market.
These are vehicles that will be tasked with providing zero-emission, no-nonsense donkey work by some, but bought for the image they convey by most. And in the case of the Hummer EV, the brand is unapologetically going after those lifestyle buyers.
Perhaps that’s why as a pick-up truck, it barely boasts the carrying capacity that we’d expect from something of its size. It has a loading area, but it’s a short one. The stubby dimensions of the loadbay are there entirely to play-up to the image of the newcomer’s forebears, also all hampered with small load bays so the platform could accommodate SUV variants at the same time.
The new Hummer is equipped with a tri-motor electric powertrain (two motors on the rear axle, one on the front), they work together to deliver a hypercar-baiting 986bhp, with 1,672Nm torque available. Our first drive was on the wide streets of LA - perhaps, the sort of location you could really consider to be this car’s home territory. Rental companies here, with their hands on early deliveries, are already charging $1,500 a day to drive the Hummer EV.
It feels exceptionally wide, but with four-wheel steering, it’s actually fairly easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, provided you keep track of the car’s vast scale - cameras around the edge of the vehicle help you in this regard. And leaning into the throttle is fun too, with this leviathan capable of 0-62mph in just 3.5 seconds. Bringing things to a halt is not as enjoyable though - the sheer mass strains under the demand of a sharp prod of the brakes. Its general unwieldiness doesn't allow for relaxed driving at speed, either.
Want to take it off road or put it to work? We didn’t have the chance to try out the myriad off-road functions. But the more compact and affordable trucks from Rivian and Ford boast better loading capacities and payloads than the Hummer.
With a 75 per cent battery available on our test car, a predicted range of 229 miles was given. The car’s official maximum range is listed as 329 miles, but a real-world reach of 300 seems our best estimate.
In an average electric passenger car, a battery of around 70-80kWh is needed to achieve such a figure. But in the enormous hummer, a pack a staggering 213kWh in capacity is between the axles.
The huge battery is almost a self-defeating addition. The weight of the pack is just over 1.3 tonnes - almost the same as a basic Volkswagen Golf in its entirety. It’s one of the reasons why the Hummer EV brings gas-guzzling lavishness to the EV world, with energy consumption barely beating 1.5m/kWh.
It’s also the reason why the Hummer certainly isn’t cheap. In fact, it almost feels like a significant portion of the car’s $110,295 (£94,000) price tag is solely going into covering the cost of that battery. And as a result, quality around the cabin really suffers. The removable parts that turn the Hummer into a convertible impress, but the cheap feeling plastics cannot be ignored. And when you do take the roof off, storage space behind the passenger cell slumps even more.
|Powertrain:||213kWh battery/3x e-motor|
|Transmission:||Single-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive|