Like Nothing Else On the Road
Which 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck do you want to own? The one in WTF mode (Watts To Freedom in GM’s sanitized parlance) that takes the 9,200-pound pickup 0-60 mph in three seconds? Or the one that, with all-wheel steering, delivers a completely different off-road experience from a conventional 4X4? Luckily, you don’t need to make this choice, as both come with what GMC is calling a “Supertruck.”
The 2022 Hummer EV is a beast, but one that is easily tamed. GMC recently invited members of the automotive press to Phoenix, Arizona, where we went through a two-day crash course in what makes the Hummer tick. The take-away is there is a whole lot to absorb, which is why this Flash Drive review will hit the high points of the Hummer EV, with a more detailed Road Test review coming later in the year.
Power and Torque
Power and torque are a big part of the Hummer story. With 1,000 horsepower and a GMC estimate of 11,500 pound-feet of torque coming through three motors to drive all four wheels, the Hummer EV is trying to make a statement even before you get behind the wheel. But the question is—when do you need or use all that oomph?
Clean Fleet Report’s time in the Hummer combined short course demonstrations of all-wheel steering, Watts To Freedom mode and Crab Walk. We then spent 100 miles on the freeway, and a couple hours on technical off-road trails in the desert.
If you have driven any electric vehicle, you know the acceleration is quick, with manufacturers trying to outdo each other with the shortest time to 60 or 100 mph. The Hummer EV pickup truck is an interesting vehicle as the horsepower and torque make it an amazing straight-line performance vehicle for its weight and size.
WTF (Watts To Freedom) is where full power is unleashed, delivering true push-you-back-in-your-seat acceleration. The estimated 3.5 second 0-60 is very believable. WTF mode can be used when not in a drag race, but it eats-up the battery at a faster rate. While exciting, WTF seems to be a way to win a bar bet that a pickup truck this heavy can go that fast. We don’t recommend using it until you have full grasp of how the Hummer EV handles and stops, as going that fast, that quickly, can be a handful.
In our test drive we averaged 1.7 kW per mile, which is a woeful number compared to other EVs Clean Fleet Report has tested. However, none of them weighed 9,000+ pounds or had the on- and off-road capability of the Hummer EV. We don’t think Hummer EV owners will be too concerned about efficiency as long as the battery charges fast and can give them that 329 miles of driving range.
Hitting the Open Road: Smooth and Responsive
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV was comfortable out on the road, with an ease-to-drive belying its weight and size. Long distance trips are very possible with its 329-mile driving range, so don’t hesitate to take off for a long weekend. The even acceleration, with very useable torque available at any speed, made it a breeze to drive in-town or on the freeway. The all-wheel steering feature can be turned off, but we found leaving it on made freeway driving effortless. At 65+ mph the rear steering can’t be sensed, but you know it is there as the 4+ ton Hummer EV smoothly cruises down the road. The Arizona highways are unaffected by freezing and thawing, so the surfaces are fairly smooth. Our take is that even under poorer road conditions the Hummer’s ride would not be rough, with little harshness and vibrations transmitted into the cabin.
The available Super Cruise, which offers hands-free driving, has among other features the ability to automatically change lanes. We tried it and it works, but needing this technology is another conversation for another day.
There are five different driver-selectable drive modes, with Normal best for open, paved-road driving. With each drive mode comes artificial engine sounds that are pumped through the Bose audio system. In Normal, a barely audible soft note competes with the road noise from the 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires mounted on 18-inch wheels. The optional all-season tires are a better choice if going off-road is not why you are buying the Hummer EV. Confidence and comfort can be increased when towing up-to 7,500 pounds by selecting the Tow/Haul drive mode setting.
The Hummer EV is perfectly good if primarily driving on paved roads, even though it is a bit big for being a daily egg-and-bread getter. The all-wheel steering and Crab Walk could come in handy when trying to slip into a tight parking spot at the store, so don’t shy away from using it. At the least, find an empty parking lot and experiment with Crab Walk to see what it can do. Any way you look at it, it is a blast!
Off the Road: A Different Sensation
Terrain, Off-Road, and My Mode are the driver-selectable modes for tackling off-road driving. Each are designed for a specific task to improve traction, throttle control and ride comfort. The all-wheel steering and Crab Walk take an off-road adventure to a different place. The all-wheel steering shows its technical prowess when a trail gets tight, rocky, or steep—or all of those at the same time.
When negotiating a tight off-road corner in a conventional 4X4, a calculation is made if a three-point turn is needed, or needing to climb over a sharp rock outcropping may be necessary. In our time traversing steep, rutted, rocky and dusty trails, the all-wheel steering makes it possible to turn through a corner, using the front wheels as the guide, with the rear wheels turning at the same angle. Looking in the side rearview mirrors and seeing the wheels steering and the tail of the truck following along, is a trip.
Eighteen cameras are strategically placed, including two underbody with a front camera wash feature, making avoiding trail hazards such as rocks and tree branches an easy task (with a short learning curve). Five skid plates helped, too, as did the four-corner air suspension to adjust ride height.
Whether driving on or off-road the Hummer EV’s 210 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery needs to be charged. When driving, charging is accomplished through regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electric energy when applying the brakes or coasting and stores it in the battery. To get the driving full range out of the Hummer EV, plugging-in is the way to go.
Level 2 240V +16 miles per hour and 20-to-100% in 16.5 hours
Level 3 480V DC Fast Charging +100 miles in 12 minutes and 20-80% in 42 minutes
The Infinity Roof, made up of three panels, brings back memories of the Pontiac Firebird from the 1970s and 1980s. These panels snap in and out easily, and come with a padded protective case that neatly stores in the front trunk (frunk). When the panels are in place, and even though they are heavily tinted, heat still transfers into the cabin. Without a shade, it gets hot. GMC hinted a shade system may be in the works. When the panels are removed, back country driving with the sky and wind engulfing you and up-to four passengers will be a thing to experience.
The well laid-out interior has geometric design points. The vertical dash air vents mimic the tail light design, while the instrument cluster, infotainment screen and dash section, in front of the passenger, are all horizontal, as are the door inserts. The seats, center console and large exterior mirrors continue the block look. It grows on you and is all very functional. One thought is, if you will be doing a lot of muddy or dusty off-roading, the white in the white and black two-tone interior color scheme my be an issue. Or, maybe you are the cleanest off-roader ever and a white interior is just fine.
Make sure to check out the speaker covers and floor mats that are adorned with a map of the moon’s Sea Of Tranquility. Overall, while comfortable and providing good sight-lines, there is a lot of plastic that doesn’t jibe with the $110,000+ price tag.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV doesn’t stray far from the last Hummer we saw in 2010. The boxy shape, with a high ride height and large wheels and tires continues to the current version. GMC designers took that familiar look and updated it with LED lighting front and rear, softer corners and the MultiPro tailgate. Access to the bed is made possible by the tailgate that drops down in one piece, has two built-in load stops and a section that drops way down so you can stand even closer to the bed and your cargo. It also has a section that drops to create a full-width step. Lastly, for a cool factor, the gate has a built-in Kicker audio system that runs off a flash drive. The Hummer EV doesn’t have a spare tire, so if you want to have one for that just-in-case off-road moment, it will need to be stored in the bed.
Observations: 2022 GMC Hummer EV
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is a truck you will want to drive, but to own it? It’s extravagant in so many ways with its Crab Walk, Watts To Freedom and hands-free lane changing on the highway, are all cool, but most owners will rarely use them and will end-up being bragging points. Maybe even gimmicks.
GMC is fine with that because, as they told us, “We had one goal for Hummer EV: Build the most capable factory truck–ever.” From our short time driving the Hummer EV, we have no argument. They have done it, and it is electric. No diesel or giant V8 gas-guzzler need apply.
If the on-road performance, off-road capability, and $111,500 price tag doesn’t elicit the same reaction, then the Hummer EV probably isn’t for you. GMC knows the Hummer EV pickup truck won’t appeal to everyone, so they are asking you to comeback in a year or so and take a look at the Hummer EV SUV. Of course there are other options appearing soon in the electric truck market—the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian’s R1T, the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the Tesla Cybertruck. Some of those are planned to cost less than half the current Hummer.
The six-figure Edition One, which is sold out, will be followed this fall by the $99,995 Hummer EV3X with a similar three-motor setup. Next year a $89,995 two-motor model will debut, followed in 2024 by a $79,995 two-motor version with a smaller battery pack.
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Story by John Faulkner. Photos by John Faulkner and GMC.
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle. Because of this we don’t address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition, we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology. As part of these events we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements.
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