I didn’t think a 9,000-pound pickup could invoke a level of acceleration that had me covering my eyes, but I was wrong.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to ride shotgun in a GMC Hummer EV Pickup at the 2023 Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction and, in less than three seconds, I was covering my eyes in true terror as my professional driver launched the electric truck from a dead stop to an undetermined high speed. I had no idea how fast because I was covering my eyes as I got pinned to the seat. I was advised afterwards that 0-to-60 mph takes about three seconds, and the acceleration figures are legit when you consider that the three-motor Ultium Drive system (featuring an Ultium 24-module battery system) produces an estimated 1,000 horsepower and a GM-estimated 11,500 lb-ft of combined axle torque. The acceleration was impressive but, during the public demonstration of the EV’s abilities, I was equally impressed by its crab walk. Who knew you could make a large vehicle go sideways?
“We demonstrate crab walk and people have never experienced that before,” says Rich Latek, Director of GMC Marketing. “It’s just amazing and it just puts a smile on their face and then we just show the pure power of the vehicle, do a demonstration of Watts to Freedom (a driving mode that offers the full acceleration on tap), we’ll get zero to 60 in less than three seconds.”
The Hummer EV Pickup’s appearance at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction was a demonstration of the vehicle’s ability and advanced technology to let automotive consumers and media know what GM has been up to with the development of this all-electric beast.
“These are $100,000 vehicles that you see here today,” says Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer for the Hummer EV. “We will have other trim levels that are lower, but the idea was to kind of shock the world. We not only did this vehicle in about two and a half years from sketches to production, which was amazing, but we also have the performance. It has 13-inch wheel travel, 16-inch ground clearance, can water forward 32 inches. I mean, it’s amazing the actual off-road capability. So we call it the world’s first all-electric super truck.”
As a former EV owner, the consistent questions I got from friends, family and colleagues were charging times and range. With the Hummer EV Pickup, you get an estimated 329 miles of range on a full charge and, in a pinch with a 350-kilowatt charger, you can get approximately 100 miles of range in just over 11 minutes. Numbers are nice, but a firsthand experience carries more weight for possible electric vehicle consumers.
“Whatever their view on EVs changes completely after they experience driving the Hummer,” said Latek. “Whether a truck or the SUV just from power, maneuverability, comfort, utility, all doubts are erased.”