GM reveals how it will use the Hummer EV to win over electric car skeptics as it pivots to a zero-emissions future

  • General Motors is relaunching the Hummer as an electric pickup truck in 2022.
  • Heather Vu, the product marketing director for the GMC Hummer EV, told Business Insider the vehicle's combination of on- and off-road performance should persuade customers who are skeptical of EVs.
  • GM says the Hummer EV will have 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque, and a range of more than 350 miles, as well as the ability to drive diagonally and a suspension that can create an extra six inches of ground clearance.
  • That makes the Hummer a new kind of halo car, a tool for winning over customers as GM prepares for an all-electric future.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Relaunching the Hummer as an electric vehicle was a big statement for General Motors that signaled how the automaker's priorities have changed since the nameplate's days as a gas-guzzling SUV. 

The Hummer EV, a pickup truck that will be sold under the GMC brand, will spearhead for GM a new generation of EVs that represent the company's first attempt to make electric models a serious part of its business, following one-offs like the EV1, Volt plug-in hybrid, and Bolt EV. By 2023, GM plans to have at least 20 EV models on dealer lots.

But making that effort a success will require winning over drivers, who still have a strong preference for gas-powered engines (EVs made up around 2% of the US auto market last year), to make the leap to a new technology. GM is hoping it can do so by releasing electric vehicles that resemble the most popular gas-powered models.

The EV1, Volt, and Bolt were sedans or compact cars, segments whose popularity has paled in comparison to SUVs and pickup trucks in recent years. The Hummer EV aligns more closely with the preferences of modern car buyers, and a promotional video on GMC's YouTube page emphasizes the vehicle's speed and ability to handle rugged, off-road terrain, an apparent acknowledgment that many customers care more about what their cars can do than what they do to the environment.

When asked how GM would convince fans of the original Hummer who are skeptical of EVs to buy the electrified version, Heather Vu, the product marketing director for the Hummer EV, pointed to a combination of on- and off-road performance she says is unlike anything else in GM's lineup.

"I really think it's like nothing else we have today or had in the past," she told Business Insider.

The Hummer EV, set for release in 2022, will have 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque, and a range of more than 350 miles, as well as the ability to drive diagonally and a suspension that can create an extra six inches of ground clearance. The Hummer EV's versatility is also what sets it apart from forthcoming competitors in the electric pickup-truck market like the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T, Vu said.

"There really is nothing like it on the market today," she said, "nor will there be in the future."

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