revenge of the nineties
This Off-Road Legend Might Come Back in an Unexpected Way
It should come as no surprise that the Hummer brand hasn’t been heard from much over the last decade. Following the Great Recession and rising gas prices during the late Aughts, the 10-mile-per-gallon mini-monster truck saw its fortunes sour, eventually winding up shuttered in GM’s bankruptcy. Nearly a decade after the halt of Hummer production in 2010, however, Bloomberg reports GM is now considering turning the glacier-melting off-road brand into a eco-friendly version of its younger self — by revamping it on an all-battery-powered platform.
It wouldn’t be that surprising, given General Motors’s recent dailliances in the EV market. GM was in negotiations with electric-truck startup Rivian to form a joint venture towards implementing a goal of bringing all-electric trucks and off-roaders to the General’s showrooms. After the deal fell through with Rivian, however, GM allegedly ramped up development on their own battery-powered pickup operation.
Bloomberg reports that GM currently has two major electric vehicle programs in the works. The first of the two projects, the BEV3, is designed for electric passenger sedans, midsize SUVs and crossovers. The second wave of the project is planned to create all-electric pickups and full-size, off-road-capable SUVs. GM says they aim to have 20 all-electric models on the road by 2023.
But don’t cancel that Rivian deposit just yet. Even if GM is move forward with the development and production of a battery-powered Schwarzenegger-mobile, it may be awhile before we see one. Not only would the R&D take years, but the re-branding efforts would be a totally different mountain to climb: GM will have to change the Hummer’s image from earth-shattering gas guzzlers sporting shiny rims and an air of overcompensation to eco-off-roaders capable of serious overlanding.
Although no one’s promising full-scale production of electric Hummers yet, there’s already precedent for it: If you are lucky (and quiet), you may hear the whir of the former Govenator buzzing around the hills of Los Angeles in his personal H1 electric conversion. The path has been cut. Will GM follow?