John Aaron drove the new Hummer electric super-truck and nearly peed himself
The GMC Hummer EV is really not all that big, as monster trucks usually go.
Designed to showcase what electric vehicles are now capable of, this massive, super-performance pickup, dressed in “interstellar white” paint, sports a mind-numbing 1,000 horsepower — several multiples of what a commonplace car or truck would have.
Along with that comes some knobby tires, a suspension that can raise and lower itself, the ability to drive diagonally and removable glass roof panels.
My education on the truck’s power came early. I was approaching an intersection near my house at where I never seem to catch a green signal. For once, it was actually green, though I knew I’d have to pick up the pace to make it through the intersection on time.
I punched the accelerator like I would in a normal car. My head was thrown back and to the right as the nose of the beast pitched up what could have been a full foot for all I know. As a result, teeth clanked and an expletive flew. I made the light with no problems, though I had to slow the towering machine quite a bit before making the left turn.
There is not much like driving a vehicle this powerful and this heavy. I’ve driven Dodge Challenger Hellcats, which have traction control systems that work overtime to keep wheels from spinning into oblivion, but the Hummer hugs the road with all four wheels turning under 9,000 pounds of heft. It’s roughly the weight of two of those Hellcats, or, perhaps more familiarly, of two Toyota Highlander SUVs. Takeoffs are violent and casual at the same time.
They can be more violent, though, with the Watts to Freedom launch mode (a naked excuse to have a WTF mode). I didn’t try it, as misdemeanors are just fine for me, thanks.
The vehicle can also be amazingly agile at very low speeds thanks to its four-wheel steering. U-turns are incredibly tight, and its much-ballyhooed CrabWalk (it must be good if it has a capital letter in the middle) allows for that diagonal driving, tilting the rear wheels in the same direction as the front.
Though the glass roof panels come off, I left them in place on account of our fall weather and my fear of cracking one.
Range showed up at 277 miles at 81% charge, which took a little more than an hour to climb up from 19%. My Electrify America tab came out to $61.08 — much less than filling up an old Hummer H1, but still not cheap, either. Also, the first charger I tried was broken — a common complaint for EV users. Aside from its ferocious acceleration, this electric drove very conventionally, though instead of an exhaust roar, speeding up was accompanied by futuristic whooshing and whirring sounds.
It’s getting some converts. Hummer EV product manager Kevin Daniels told me that an estimated 70% of those reserving a Hummer EV are getting their first electric vehicle and about three in four reservation holders are new to the GMC brand.
“It’s a halo car,” Daniels said, referring to a high-end vehicle meant to add luster to a brand’s other models. “It’s a moonshot.”
Going to the moon, as you might imagine, is not cheap. This Edition 1 came in at $110,295.
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