The Hummer EV is at an earlier stage of development than we thought.
After months of tantalizing teasers and delays, Hummer made a triumphant return this week with the debut of the 2022 Hummer EV. The first new Hummer in a decade, the Hummer EV is billed as the "world's first electric supertruck," with up to three electric motors generating a colossal 1,000 horsepower.
It's one of several new electric trucks currently in development, including the Tesla Cybertruck and Rivian R1T. However, development of the Hummer EV is at an earlier stage than we thought. For a new model as highly anticipated as the Hummer EV, you would think the electric supertruck will have undergone thousands of hours of prototype testing by now to make sure it lives up to expectations.
This is not the case, however. In a surprise revelation, GM hasn't even built a working prototype yet. "Interestingly enough, we don't have a vehicle yet," chief engineer Al Oppenheiser revealed to Green Car Reports. "We're building our first test vehicle as we speak; the vehicle you see in the video is our display vehicle." The Hummer EV shown on the move tearing up the desert in the official reveal video is a CGI "simulation vehicle." It's a stark contrast to Rivian, which has been testing near-production prototypes of the R1T and R1S in extreme conditions to stress-test the components.
The project was also only given the green light in April 2019, so the Hummer EV is only 18 months into development. GM is going to be on a tight schedule if customer deliveries are going to start in fall 2021.
To achieve this, GM has assigned former Camaro chief engineer Oppenheiser to oversee the Hummer EV's development. Other team members also worked on the new mid-engine Corvette. While GM hasn't built a working prototype yet, the Hummer EV's propulsion systems are fully developed and have been tested extensively.
Using a 800-volt fast charger, the Hummer EV can recover nearly 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. While the individual components have been tested, GM could discover new problems it couldn't have predicted when evaluating these components in working prototypes. GM certainly has its work cut out.