Some might look on the GMC Hummer EV Pickup as a bit of an oxymoron. Its giant wheels, rugged profile, nearly 5-ton curb weight and go-anywhere ground clearance are not what comes immediately to mind when the words “battery-electric vehicle” are uttered.
But that’s exactly what makes the Hummer EV a 2022 Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems winner.
Is it a bit over the top? Of course. But in an era when the industry is still figuring out what’s possible with electrification, the Hummer EV is the moon shot, an in-your-face demonstration of what can be done at the very outer limits of electric-vehicle engineering.
The Hummer simply laughs in the face of anyone who suggests battery-electrics these days are merely “compliance vehicles.” This massive pickup can generate 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb.-ft. (15,592 Nm) of torque from its three electric motors and still deliver up to 329 miles (529 km) of range between charges.
You wouldn’t expect a vehicle with the military pedigree of the Hummer EV to have a drag-strip mode, but it does. Its Watts to Freedom launch control can take the vehicle from a standstill to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just three seconds.
Our fully loaded $110,000 Edition 1 tester gets its juice from GM’s new Ultium battery pack, in this case stuffed with 24 cell modules that add up to 212 kWh of usable power. The 800V pack can be charged on an ultrafast charger at speeds up to 350 kW/hour, meaning about 100 miles (161 km) of range can be added in around 10 minutes.
It will surprise no one that the Hummer EV wasn’t the most energy-efficient BEV in our field of nominees, hovering around 1.6 miles/kWh. But that’s not what this vehicle is all about. It’s a Rubicon-class, carry-anything, crab-walking, travel-at-the-speed-of-light, monster of a truck aimed at those who don’t mind drawing a little attention on or off the road – and can afford to do it.
“There’s really no BEV competitor yet to this beast in terms of size or power,” notes 10 Best judge Christie Schweinsberg, who was stunned by the Hummer EV’s “whiplash-inducing torque” when she floored the accelerator.
Sums up tester Drew Winter: “Love it or hate it, the Hummer crushes all the old EV stereotypes and destroys all the old boundaries.”