How GM Fast-Tracked the 2022 GMC Hummer Electric Pickup Truck

General Motors is frank about this. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV, a full-size electric pickup, has gone from computer screens to production at top speed to compete with plans by Tesla, Rivian and others to build their own electric trucks.

GMC Hummer EV chief engineer Al Oppenheiser, who has spent most of his career developing Camaros, said 20 months ago that GM management asked him to bring Camaro charisma to the program of electric vehicles to give him a dose of adrenaline to better fight the Tesla Cybertruck 2021 and 2021 Rivian R1T, which had both created a lot of buzz. (Not to be outdone, Ford is developing an electric F-150.) Oppenheiser’s work began in April 2019 on a full-size truck that GM wanted in production in fall 2021. In other words, to rule out about two years of normal development of GM time. It became known as Project O for “Getium”, a play aboutUNobtium, “an internal phrase / excuse used by GM teams when faced with seemingly impossible tasks.

Leverage the Camaro and Corvette teams

The accelerated electric truck project required unconventional means, at least for GM. Oppenheiser brought in members of the Camaro and Corvette teams: they knew how to get a vehicle rolling fast, but also how to quickly create a lower volume halo vehicle. They even used the Camaro and Corvette performance studio. The development team also included truck and off-road experts.

As expected, it was unconventional from the start. The team worked from the production date back and relied on computer tools and simulations to create, design and test the emerging truck. There was no time for a series of physical prototypes.

No shortcuts for the GMC Hummer chassis

The digital approach helped, as the team ultimately wanted to create a whole new platform. Of course, the easiest way to save time would have been to recycle the existing truck architecture used by the full-size Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks and replace the powertrain with batteries and electric motors. But the body-on-chassis architecture would not accommodate the batteries needed for the desired range – around 350 miles on a single charge – let alone power a truck of over 1,000 horsepower and around 11,500 lb-ft. torque to the wheels, giving it the ability to go from 0 to 100 km / h in 3.0 seconds. Engineers didn’t want to build a battery stack on top of the frame spars, Oppenheiser says.

The team brought “Project O” to GM’s high-tech group, hat in hand, looking for a new structure for the full-size pickup truck and subsequent GMC Hummer SUV that would give them chops both on. road and off road. The answer was GM’s new electric vehicle architecture that uses Ultium batteries developed with LG Chem and to be built in Ohio.

The architecture provides a structural steel sandwich with batteries protected between steel plates that allow independent front and rear suspension and provide the suspension travel and underbelly armor needed for off-roading. The Hummer is an electric off-roader with a range of around 350 miles on a single charge.

Bringing back the controversial Hummer name

The team wanted to create an atmosphere worthy of the new architecture and the trucks they would produce. The halo of the electric truck program therefore deserved an extraordinary name. The emphasis on ability brought to mind the name Hummer, which dates back to 1992 and descends from the military Humvee. GM bought the Hummer brand from AM General in 1999 and sold a family of rugged, rectangular SUVs – and their offspring of H2T and H3T pickups – before GM abandoned the brand in 2010 as part of its downsizing after filing for bankruptcy.

Hummer was a polarizing brand. Some loved its ruggedness and military roots. others saw consumers of 8 mpg gasoline as the poster child for environmental damage, just as consumers hugged Prius hybrids during peak gasoline prices during a recession.

“We decided to take the name and make everyone a believer,” Oppenheiser said. The Hummer brand has always disappeared, but the decision was made to give the GMC brand models bearing the Hummer name. The first vehicles in GM’s new electric truck architecture will be the GMC Hummer EV SUT (the sport utility truck referred to here), eventually followed by the GMC Hummer SUV. Architecture will also produce a full-size electric pickup truck for Chevrolet. And there will be full-size SUVs for the Cadillac brand.

Edition 1 is only an option for the 2022 GMC Hummer

In the first year, GM will offer a single variant of the 2022 GMC Hummer, Edition 1. With a starting price of $ 112,995, the limited-run first-year model-year platform is the top-performing version with three electric motors; two opposing engines at the rear and a third engine at the front.

It was in the following years that GMC would add more affordable Hummers with two or three engines and less goodies. You will still be able to get an Edition 1 in model year 2023. And GM is now accepting reservations for all models, including the Hummer EV3X in fall 2022 with three engines, torque vectoring, and a performance launch mode. with a starting price of $ 99,995. In spring 2023, GMC will add the two-engine Hummer EV2X starting at $ 89,995. The base Hummer EV2 goes on sale in spring 2024 with a starting price of $ 79,995.

Any color you want as long as it is white

All Edition 1 models have the same behavior: white at the bottom, black from the waistband. This is part of the rapid strategy to get the truck to market quickly by reducing complexity. Want some color? Wait until the 2023 model year. But, it will be part of the signature look that all trucks will have a black painted stem, regardless of the body color.

Edition 1 comes with just about everything standard, including 18-inch wheels and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler tires, rock sliders, independent and adaptive suspension, active shocks, four-wheel steering , short overhangs and special badges on the dashboard and start screen. It also features the latest version of GM’s Super Cruise feature which enables semi-autonomous, hands-free highway driving. The roof panels come off and there is a power rear window and power tonneau cover.

GMC Hummer made in Michigan

The 2022 GMC Hummer will be built at a retrofitted plant in Detroit-Hamtramck that has been renamed Factory Zero and will only build electric vehicles, including the Hummer SUT and SUV, the Cruise Origin (which is a self-driving, ride-sharing, van -pod that carries six passengers), and probably the full-size Chevy electric pickup and the Cadillac full-size electric SUV.

The first white-bodied Hummer prototypes will be released this week. When the unpainted body structures pass through the paint shop, final finish, and roll off the line as finished vehicles, the first Hummer will be sent for winter testing and subsequent ones will be sent south for testing as a desert runners, says Oppenheiser.

First Hummer electric pickup on the market?

GM believes it will be the first mainstream electric pickup to hit the market. The importance of the project kept it on an extremely tight schedule despite a 46-day work stoppage during a strike in 2019 and then the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 which forced engineers to work from home.

Tesla has said it will launch the single-engine Cybertruck at the end of 2021 with the two-engine all-wheel-drive model and the three-engine version to follow in late 2022. But Tesla has always struggled to keep up with it. its deadlines. Rivian initially hoped to have the R1T electric pickup in production by December 2021, but that was pushed back to June 2021. Rivian bought the old Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Ill., And has drivable prototypes coming out of production. string for testing.

Ford has a new plant under construction in the Rouge complex to deliver the 2022 Ford F-150 electric pickup in June 2022. The battery-electric F-150 joins the 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid added to the lineup in the part of its latest overhaul. If all of this holds up, the Hummer’s aggressive development schedule will have paid off.

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