Does GMC’s 350-Mile Hummer EV Break the Overlanding Range Barrier?

GMC revealed the 2022 Hummer EV truck on Tuesday night. It has standard 35-inch tires (37s fit), 350+ miles of range, four-wheel steering, six inches of on-demand lift, and a 0-60 mile-per-hour time of around three seconds.

Bronco? Never heard of it.

I know, I know, it’s not fair to compare the two. But, hyperbole notwithstanding, this truck might really be a game changer for overlanding in the coming decade. Let me explain why.

Visual Appeal

I’ll knock this out of the way, because it’s the most subjective part of this whole piece. But I think this thing looks amazing. It’s modern but tough and decidedly American in its proportions and personality. It looks like it could kill you, but respectfully and with a touch of refinement. 

In terms of looks, I think it’s a home run. Of course, some of you may disagree. And that’s fine. So, let’s get down to brass tax.

Off-Road Capability

Hummer EV will be available with an Extreme Off-Road Package. This includes 18-inch wheels, 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT tires, underbody armor, rock sliders, underbody cameras and more. It’ll be available with Adaptive Air Suspension with available segment-leading Extract Mode and Segment-exclusive 4 Wheel Steer with CrabWalk (AKA ‘Crab Mode’).

When optioned with the Adaptive Air Suspension, drivers will be able to crank the suspension up an additional six inches on the fly. Yes, this sort of adaptive suspension isn’t new. But, man, is it cool. What’s more, it allows for 32 inches of water fording.

Performance

When fully spec’d with the three-motor e4WD system, which is optional, GMC estimates the Hummer EV will churn out 1,000 horsepower and 11,5000 foot-pounds of torque. [Yes, careful readers, I typed that one correctly 1,000 hp and 11,500 ft-lbs. of torque!]

With that package, the Hummer EV is bestowed with something called ‘Watts to Freedom’ or ‘WTF’ (get it?), which allows it to sprint 0-60 mph in around three seconds. That’s is mind boggling, given just how gargantuan this thing is.

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The driving range on a single charge is estimated at more than 350 miles. Thanks to its 800-volt DC fast charging capability, drivers will be able to get 100 miles of range with just a 10-minute charge. So, forget waiting around for a while, as it recharges. That’ll soon be a thing of the past.

Design and Technology

The Edition 1 trim level will also come standard with the latest version Super Cruise, General  Motors’ semi-autonomous driving system. This version of Super Cruise will be capable of both hands-free driving and automatic lane changes.

I drove the first generation of Super Cruise, along with all comparable systems from competitive brands, and I can tell you Super Cruise is the most robust, safest system on the market hands down. That’ll be an amazing feature to have.

In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch diagonal digital display. And in the center dash is a 13.4-inch diagonal infotainment screen. Above the passengers is an available Infinity Roof with removable transparent panels that can be removed — à la Wrangler or Bronco. Distinguishing it from other similar designs, the Hummer EV’s roof panels can be stowed in the front trunk or “frunk.”

Trims and Availability

All of this amazingness comes at a price. The Hummer EV Edition 1 trim will cost $112,595 and will be fully loaded and become available in the fall of 2021 as a 2022 model year. And all the reservations for the first year of production are already gone. So, you can’t even get in line to get one. Sorry.

That isn’t the end of the story, though. There will be other trims in the coming years. In the fall of 2022, Hummer EV 3X trim will be available starting at $99,995. Hummer EV 2X trim will arrive a year later, in fall 2023, starting at $89,995. And the entry-level trim, Hummer EV 2, will hit showrooms in fall of 2024 carrying a starting price of $79,995.

READ MORE: FORD’S NEW BRONCO COULD CHANGE OVERLANDING FOREVER

Yes, I realize all of those are large sums of money and many are a long way off. Still, you have to consider what you’re getting. And, for any one of those prices, I’d rather have the Hummer EV than any other EV on the market today.

Overland Capable?

That last point leads me to the biggest question of all: Is the Hummer EV capable of being used as an overland rig? I think it is.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Range.

First, before we talk range, let’s just be honest: Most of us are typically a hundred miles or fewer from civilization at minimum at all times during our domestic overland trips. No matter how remote you are, you’re probably closer to people, fuel, and electricity than you care to believe on any of your trips. [No letters, please.] 

With that in mind, 350 miles is totally doable for overlanding. My Gladiator gets probably 215 miles of range per tank. That’s at around 11 miles per gallon. I bring at least eight additional gallons of fuel. So, let’s say my all-out range is 303 miles. I’ve never found that limiting — it’s never prohibited me from having long-term overland journeys.

To that end, my Gladiator — and all internal combustion engines (i.e. ICE) — returns worse fuel economy in the sort of stop-and-go driving I do out in the wilderness. I am always slowing for obstacles and stopping for pictures — you name it.

It’s in these conditions that EVs excel and are even more efficient. Remember, there’s no energy being used if you’re not moving. Plus, there are aftermarket battery range extenders — the equivalent of jerry cans for EVs — that you can tote along on your journeys for increased pease of mind. So, I wager range concerns are a non-starter argument.

What’s more, if you’re near fuel, as most of us are, you’ll likely be even closer to electricity. That means charging won’t be a huge issue. And it’ll get easier with time, as the EV charging infrastructure grows in the coming half decade and beyond. Plus, the Hummer EV may be capable of receiving a charge from being towed, as the Rivian RT1s have been during “Long Way Up.” If so, you could generate some range in a pinch.

And that ignores all the other benefits of carrying around a huge lump of electrons with you on your trips — power galore. I’ll leave that for another day, though.

In terms of off-road capability, it’ll be more than capable with Extreme Off-Road Package. Which, as a refresher includes 35s and the ability to fit 37s, underbody armor, rock sliders, underbody cameras, not to mention four-wheel steering, Extract mode and CrabWalk.

On my last overland trip, I wished that, after days of driving through the backcountry, my truck could drive itself home on the highway so I could rest. With Super Cruise, Hummer EV will be able to pretty much accomplish that, which will be amazing.

READ MORE: HOW MUCH WATER DO YOU NEED FOR OVERLANDING?

In addition to all these incredible selling points, I haven’t even gotten to the pickup bed or the to-be-announced towing capacity, etc., which will further sweeten the prospects of making a Hummer EV into an overland rig.

That said, I realize EVs won’t be right for every overlander. Few of us can afford a $80,000 to $113,000 truck. After having looked around the campgrounds at Overland Expos in the past, though, I can say for certain that some of us can. For those lucky folks, this truck will make an awesome and super enviable rig.

Ultimately, I hope if nothing else, the Hummer EV opens your eyes a bit more widely to the potential of an all-electric overlanding rig. After all, we’re all consummate stewards of our natural spaces and all strive to leave no trace and also leave your campsites better than you found them. Shouldn’t that ethos also extend to our vehicles? Shouldn’t we endeavor to lessen our impact on the environment with our vehicles themselves? There’s no better way to do that than with an EV.

No matter how you feel about EVs or the Hummer EV specifically, the era of the EV is upon us. They’re just going to get more prevalent and, as we saw this week from GMC, more bad-ass. And we haven’t seen anything yet — from Hummer EV or otherwise.


Header image: GMC

Written by Nick Jaynes. You can follow Nick @nickjaynes

Photo by Brett Willhelm

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