posted on May 24th, 2020

GM is bringing back the Hummer, this time as an EV!

On this day in 2010, General Motors officially gave the Hummer brand the axe. But recently, GM announced the resurrection of the Hummer, with a delicious twist — it’ll be an all-electric pickup truck! In celebration of the Hummers’ triumphant return, it’s a great time to take a look back at Hummer’s short-lived original run.

The Hummer brand, established in 1992, was the most American a car brand can get — they adapted AM General Humvees used by the U.S. military for civilian use. The push to make Humvees available to the public came in large part from none other than the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. AM General’s adapted M998, dubbed the H1, included civilian-friendly amenities like a stereo system, air-conditioning, and other sorts of trim to make the iron behemoth more user friendly.

GM purchased the Hummer brand in 1999 and promptly introduced two new, more refined models. The H2 retained the bulk, hyper-masculine attitude, and military aesthetic of the H1, but was far more accommodating to everyday users. After the H2’s success, Hummer released the H3, a more compact version of the earlier models. The H2 and H3’s design rounded off the harsh, boxy design of the H1 and went for more of a classic SUV aesthetic.

Alexander’s 2008 Hummer H2 (Jersey City, NJ)
Serge’s 2007 Hummer H3 (Longueuil, QC)

By 2006, the H1 was discontinued and the Hummer brand was achieving popularity internationally with the H2 and H3, even as sales began to decrease as consumers started favoring more efficient options. The Godzilla-sized gas-guzzling Hummer was a hard sell for the average consumer unless they were Arnold Schwarzenegger. Then the 2008 financial crisis hit and bankrupted GM. Under the conditions of their government bailout, GM had to downsize, and with slumping sales in a market turning toward fuel-efficient vehicles, Hummer was an easy choice for the chopping block.

GMC’s initial teaser image of the Hummer EV (Image: GMC)

In 2019, rumors of Hummer’s return began to swirl, and in January, GM confirmed they’ll be bringing the Hummer back under the GMC marque. But there is one big difference with the new Hummer — it’ll be battery-powered!

That’s right, the famously gas-guzzling Hummer is returning as an EV. GM is claiming that this new Hummer will make up to 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 pound-feet of torque, and have a zero to 60 time of three seconds (that’s supercar acceleration). These are big claims, but the new electric Hummer should be able to house the largest battery pack yet put into a vehicle. Adding to the GMC Hummer’s uniqueness is a structure featuring removable roof panels for an open-top experience, à la Jeep Wrangler.

The GMC Hummer EV’s open-air top (Image: GMC)

Though GM’s initial May 20 unveiling was delayed, the new Hummer is still scheduled to hit the market in the fall of 2021. There is no word yet on the rescheduled reveal date. Nevertheless, the car community is excited, if not morbidly curious, to see what the new Hummer will bring to the table. At the end of the day, we all have to take a moment to thank Arnold for these tanks on wheels.

Danny Benson is a car fanatic and writer from rural Northern California (aka Bigfoot country). His friends are hoping that his being able to write about cars for a living will get him to stop talking their ears off with useless car trivia.