Driven: The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup Is Cool, But Is It Practical?

Test Drive / 13 Comments

Is life with a 1,000-horsepower truck all it's cracked up to be?

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup isn't like any other existing truck on the market. While Tesla fans eagerly await the arrival of the massively anticipated Cybertruck, General Motors has already been selling an electric pickup, albeit in low volumes, with 1,000 horsepower, a three-second 0-60 mph time, and a range of well over 300 miles. So why aren't the streets flooded with Hummers? It sounds like the very product American shoppers would go gaga for, right?

As we mentioned, the Hummer is a low-volume product, with only 854 units sold last year in 2022. Production should ramp up a bit with the Hummer SUV arriving later this year, but with prices currently starting at $108,700 (before markups) and the cheapest models still starting (but not yet available) at around $90,000, GMC isn't looking to overtake Ford F Series sales with this product.

At best, the Hummer is a niche product built specifically to show off what's possible with EVs for a select few buyers who can afford it. Does it succeed in this mission? We borrowed a Hummer EV pickup and lived with it for an entire week to find out.

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With Great Power Comes Great Fun

GMC only offers the Hummer in one configuration as of this writing: a tri-motor setup producing 835 horsepower. Two motors in the back and one motor at the rear give the truck adequate power for effortless acceleration, though it doesn't feel particularly jolting due to the immense vehicle weight. The full 1,000 hp isn't available without activating Watts To Freedom, a goofily named launch control mode that can be shortened to WTF.

In this mode, the Hummer can squeal its mud-terrain tires and rocket up to 60 mph in just three seconds. However, it requires approximately 30 seconds to activate as the suspension lowers and the batteries/motors are prepared to deliver maximum output. We doubt Hummer owners will have enough time to activate WTF at a set of lights, nor do we advise it due to how quickly this truck can accelerate without an equal amount of stopping power.

Yes, the Hummer's acceleration is a hoot, but the rest of the driving experience isn't very sporty. It still feels every bit of 9,000 pounds, though the air suspension helps to greatly reduce body roll in the corners and improve ride comfort. We must commend GMC on the Hummer's rear wheel steering. It greatly reduces the turning radius and makes this behemoth easier to park than a standard full-size truck.

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The Charging Dilemma

Many buyers measure an EV by how far it can go on a single charge. By that metric, the Hummer EV Pickup shines with a 329-mile range (GM-estimated). This is enough to more or less eliminate range anxiety while on the go. The trouble emerges when you learn how GMC was able to achieve that range. Most EVs use a battery that is 100 kWh or less, but the Hummer's battery is a 212 kWh double-stacked unit. It weighs 2,923 pounds on its own, which is more than an entire Honda Civic. Because the truck is so heavy, it managed a wasteful 1.6 miles/kWh in our testing. For comparison, a Hyundai Ioniq 5 gets around 3.6 mi/kWh. The Hummer is clearly a wattage waster.

Fortunately, the Hummer delivers one of the fastest charging speeds on the market (up to 350 kW) thanks to its 800-volt architecture. Theoretically, it can replenish up to 100 miles in 10 minutes, but in reality, you will likely be sitting at the charger for over 40 minutes.

On a regular Level 2 household outlet, you will only add around 16 miles per hour (if you're lucky). Our local L2 plugs could only add around nine miles per hour. Even at GMC's alleged peak speed, it would take around 20 hours to fully charge the Hummer at home. Without a second vehicle to rely on, we can't imagine this working for most people.

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Cool Toy Features

GMC sells the Hummer as a technology showcase, and it does have many cool and unique features. The Android-powered infotainment system lives on a sizable 13.4-inch touchscreen with an intuitive layout and outstanding voice command from Google. However, we noticed considerable lag from the screen when changing drive modes or accessing new menus. GMC assured us this car was an early build, and we've had better luck with the same infotainment system in the Sierra 1500.

Owners who wish to take the Hummer off-road will enjoy the incredible air suspension with Extract Mode and Ultravision camera system with an underbody view to avoid rocks and other obstacles. There's also GM Super Cruise, which enables hands-free driving on select roads.

Much like the Ford Bronco and Jeep Wrangler/Gladiator, the Hummer's roof is removable for a full open top experience. Storing the roof panels is fairly simple, as they fit into the front trunk with included bags for protection. Their plexiglass design makes them light and easy to remove, with a nice tint to protect you from the sun while they are installed.

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Not A Six-Figure Interior

Along with the charging situation, we imagine the Hummer's interior will be a deciding factor for many buyers. This is not GMC's best interior effort, as both the Sierra 1500 AT4X and Denali Ultimate offer a more premium cabin. The Hummer reminds us of the aforementioned Bronco and Wrangler, built to withstand off-road abuse with tough, durable materials. Nothing in the interior feels expensive, and some surfaces feel outright cheap. We don't mind practical inclusions like the rubber floors, which are easy to hose down, but the center console feels like it belongs in a $30,000 work truck, not a six-figure toy.

Perhaps the best comparison we can draw here is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. The Hellcat is based on an affordable muscle car you can pick out at a rental counter, so the interior is never going to feel like an $80,000 vehicle. Sure, it's got nicer seats with heating/ventilated and some suede to cover up the cheap parts, but there is still loads of plastics that no amount of leather can make up for. Think of the Hummer like a muscle car; you pay for the drivetrain, not the interior quality.

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Is The Hummer For You?

We typically like to envision the ideal customer for every vehicle we review, but the Hummer EV Pickup buyer seemed especially difficult to imagine. But here's our best guess:

Someone who buys a Hummer EV Pickup has a Ford F-150 Raptor or Ram TRX in their garage, but finds themselves driving the Tesla Model S/X Plaid more to avoid filling the tank on their thirsty truck. This person is very-tech forward and loves having the latest and greatest vehicle to show to friends, family, and coworkers. The Hummer will let them consolidate down to one vehicle while retaining every positive attribute of the Raptor/TRX and the Tesla.

If that description matches you, the Hummer EV Pickup might be perfect for you. If not, we think the Ford F-150 Lightning is a much more practical electric truck and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado 1500 EV and GMC Sierra 1500 EV will offer similar features without the Hummer's baggage.

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