Up close with the GMC Hummer EV and SUV: Electric largesse has arrived

As I approach the 2022 GMC Hummer EV and 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV, I quickly realize my outsized sense of anticipation to see the pair of supersized EVs is not enough to match their brawn. Electric vehicles have for the most part trended towards smaller and more efficient, but that is rapidly changing with […]

As I approach the 2022 GMC Hummer EV and 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV, I quickly realize my outsized sense of anticipation to see the pair of supersized EVs is not enough to match their brawn. Electric vehicles have for the most part trended towards smaller and more efficient, but that is rapidly changing with a set of larger trucks and SUVs set to come to market starting later this year.

The biggest and baddest of those will be this pair of Hummers, and they are suitably massive for vehicles resurrecting this brand name. Standing next to the pickup, it looks like it carries every ounce of its 9,034 pound curb weight. 

The width and height of both vehicles is imposing. Both are shorter than the F-150 Lightning’s 232.7 inches of length, with the Hummer EV truck at 216.8 inches long, or 196.8 inches for the SUV, but they are still much wider—86.7 inches vs. 80.0 inches without mirrors—and to my eye, a lot taller as well (official height specs are forthcoming).

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

The height at which they sit was what surprised me the most in person, when I saw these two vehicles displayed side by side at Page One Automotive’s garage in Los Angeles. Even at 5’11 I had to crane my neck a bit to make it over the beltline to see inside the cabin. Thank goodness for the running boards that line the side of both vehicles. As I’m gawking, I remember that the air suspension can raise the Hummers another six-inches to clear obstacles or ford water. That combined with the large gaps between the substantial 35-inch wheels on the pickup and the top of the wheel well is going to let this beast drive over most, if not all of the things.

The front styling is gaudy, but not in an offensive way. You don’t buy a Hummer for its subtlety. The prominent front light bar that spells out the truck’s name glows brightly white, but those smaller lights below are the actual headlights. The SUV’s rear ends right behind the wheels and that gives it a solid advantage in departure angle (49.0 vs. 38.4 degrees), but the truck’s bed sits rather high. That combined with the air suspension’s lift makes it very capable for a truck. Consider that the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon only has a departure angle of 26 degrees.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

That abrupt ending to the rear end also makes the SUV look much shorter than the truck. Despite the nearly nine-inch deficit in wheelbase and the 20-inch drop in overall length, the cabins of the two vehicles are essentially identical in dimension, GMC representatives confirmed. Both have very roomy back seats, and in the truck the back seat has extra storage compartments in the outboard seats and the seat cushions can fold up to accommodate larger cargo as well.

Underneath both vehicles everything is shielded. Two large plates extended across the whole bottom of the vehicle from wheel to wheel. Though the production versions might look a little bit different in mounting points and pattern, expect the same kind of underbody armor to live down there to protect the electronic components and battery from damage over rough terrain. 

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

GMC kept a very short leash on these prototypes, I wasn’t allowed to touch the vehicle in any way. A handler helped open the doors, pop the hood, lower the liftgate, and even pop out the four removable roof panels that allow the Hummer EV to do true open air driving as the central beams can be taken off as well. As such, I didn’t get to climb into the cabin and feel around for materials and play with the screens (which ran in demo mode), so we’ll have to wait to get a sense of how the Ultravision camera system with its “virtual spotter” works. Darn.

Both of the vehicles on display are Edition 1 prototypes, the fully loaded models that will lead the way. As such, they have matching bronze two-tone interiors with a gray/white color scheme in the pickup and a green/black in the SUV. From what I could glean, the materials look suitably premium and the 13.4-inch multimedia screen and 12.3-inch driver display are both very sharp and crystal-clear.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

The roof panels that comprise the “Infinity Roof” are a neat trick. They did look a little heavy as the handlers removed them, but I was told that’s because the prototype uses real glass while the production model will use a lightweight acrylic. All of the panels and the cross beams can also be removed to provide a true open-air experience, with the panels stowing neatly in the front storage area. The one thing that did concern me was that the glass didn’t look that tempered and light pretty much shone straight through it. We don’t expect some kind of magic roof that will be able to change opacity on the fly, so hopefully there will be some tempering, electrochromic tinting, or a set of solid roof panels perhaps to keep passengers out of the sun.

For fans of astronomy, there are some Easter Eggs that will draw a big smile. The pattern on the back of the cargo area in the SUV is a topographical representation of the sea of tranquility. On the speaker grates you get a similar pattern, complete with an astronaut footprint on the spot where Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon. The dead pedal is also styled to look like the bottom of an astronaut’s boot.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV Prototype

Even knowing the Hummer EV’s ridiculous specifications going into this first encounter of the electric kind, I was taken aback seeing the pair together. It’s refreshing to see EVs turn a corner and start to invade even the largest vehicle segments, because there’s a lack of larger, more family friendly or off-road oriented vehicles in the market. And those vehicles are generally more inefficient, so replacing them with electric alternatives heightens the environmental impact. Looking at this pair, which appropriately resurrects the Hummer name in style and size, it’s hard not to feel like anything can be electrified.