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On today’s podcast:
Everything we know about the GMC Hummer EV
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening wherever you are in the world, welcome to EV News Daily for Wednesday 21st October. It’s Martyn Lee here and I go through every EV story so you don’t have to.
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10 years after the brand was put to rest – Hummer is back as an EV.
First the specs, then we’ll compare to the competition.
Hello and welcome to our first look at the newly unveiled Hummer EV . So it’s finally here and now we know some of the stats, the Hummer EV has over 1000 horsepower, and they say, 11,500, pound feet of torque, but we’ll get to that later in the podcast . And a 0-60mph time of less than three seconds, and numbers that would make any other pickup truck cry all the way home.
The first thing to say about the Hummer EV, is that it is a pickup truck with a decent sized bed not the SUV that some people thought they might unveil as well. A bit like rivian with an SUV, and a truck. But fair to say this platform WILL becomes an SUV at some point, with three rows of seating.
So let’s work out if we can finally say, an environmentally friendly Hummer. In some ways, GMC making the Hummer electric makes no sense at all. It’s about as aerodynamic.
One of the unique characteristics of a Hummer is the vertical sides all the way to the roofline. In fact, the whole thing is just a big square box that used to go through the air, very slowly. No, I mean, very, very slowly, the performance of the combustion Hummer was, I think I’m being fair, absolutely terrible. And then, of course, there is the miles per gallon, which if you are in double figures, you are having a good day.
On the other hand, making an EV out of a vehicle this big does make sense because there’s plenty of room to put a big battery.
In fact there’s plenty of room to do pretty much whatever you want. First off, it looks like a Hummer. That may be a stupid thing to say but they have been pretty faithful to the original design of the Humvee, the vehicle designed to do anything, go anywhere, get American troops out of trouble.
In fact, they used to dump these Humvees out of military helicopters. So they were built pretty tough back in the day.
The version they unveiled last night was running on 35’s, but it can accommodate 37 inch tires.
Just like the original. And if you do swap your 35 to 37 inch tires. It magically knows, and it will adjust the speed accordingly.,
18 cameras pointing in every possible direction are there for the autonomous driving assistance, but also to help you when you’re off roading. Including two cameras facing down, at the axle clearance.
And if you’re wondering what use is that well actually if you are going off roading, and you don’t have a spotter, it is very very useful to be able to see if you’re going to crash into a rock, but won’t these cameras get dirty GMC say they thought of that and they’ll have little spray washers that will clean the cameras off when they get dirty
Truck fans will be pleased to hear there’s a back window that drops down to get some fresh air in the cabin.
And if you want to go Alfresco. The whole roof comes off in four separate sections, and it stows away inside the huge frunk. They call it Infinity Roof.
Because everything on a Hummer is bigger. Why settle for two windscreen wipers, when you can have three.
There’s a five foot bed, the tailgate can fit speakers if you want to have a party in the middle of a cornfield like a country song. And of course it will power all of your tools as well. Underneath body armour, to protect it against rocks, whilst you’re taking the kids to school on the school run.
Fully adjustable air suspension will raise and lower the hammer by 8 inches, so that’s a total of 16 inches ground clearance. Not quite as good as the Hummers back in the day custom built for off roading but how much more do you really need.
Because, air suspension will travel up and down. Most of the time at about 10.1 inches of ground clearance. But you can change the mode, specifically, they call it Extract Mode. In other words, you’ve got yourself in a little bit of bother you need to extract yourself well then the suspension will lift the vehicle to 16 inches of ground clearance.
And when you’re cruising on the highway. We’ll go from that standard 10 inches down by two inches to help with the efficiency, I’m guessing. I mean, this is still a slab of car pushing its way through the air, but I guess, raising it down to eight inches will help a little bit with a few more miles of range, out of that big old battery.
And whilst we’re down here talking about wheels, tires, suspension. Let’s talk about steering, it’s not just the front wheels that steer. Okay, rear wheel steering isn’t a new thing. But having the move in the same angle as the front wheels. Well, that’s pretty rare.
So up to 10 degrees the rear wheels can turn in the same direction as the front wheels, and they call it, crab mode, so you move the whole vehicle diagonally.
This car has so much off road prowess, and so much ground clearance from its highest to lowest setting. They’ve actually had to make an extendable half shaft, a bit like an extendable tripod leg on a camera stand, that’s the best way I can describe it this thing will actually the half shaft will actually move in and out, because the car goes up and down so much is pretty high tech the car will adjust itself over 500 times a second for optimum grip and performance.
And underneath the skin, we’ll find three electric motors. Why not two. And why not four.
Well let’s explain, that Firstly, there’s one motor driving the front two wheels and that’s because under maximum acceleration the weight balance of this thing shifts, so far rearwards, even though it’s got adaptive dampers and adaptive suspension to keep it as level as possible. The front axle is traction and grip limited until you’re up and underway so there’s no point in just putting more motors on the front axle because they can’t apply the grip to the road. However, on the rear axle there are two motors and they do drive a rear wheel, each, so that means you can do some funky software things with torque vectoring. In other words, start and stop the rear wheels as and when you need to for maximum traction.
And all of that electric power, as you probably know, can be applied instantly because this is an EV which means it will be one of the most capable offroaders, if not the most capable off road or that you’ve ever driven instant torque instant power exactly when you need it.
Inside the Hummer. It is more modern, but if you are familiar with how they turned the Humvee into a Hummer, which was basically added some indicators and a horn to make it road legal. It’s an improvement, but not too much.
I’ll be generous and call the inside of the Hummer industrial. Don’t get me wrong, it looks nice there’s two tone colour seats made in a non animal fabric which they designed and they’ve because it’s handmade been able to replicate that pattern on the seat on the doors on the dash. And this new material, as well as being completely animal free inside the vehicle does mean that it can be used in other words, probably hose down from the inside as a proper truck.
Two seats up front, three seats in the back.
As air conditioning in the back you get your USB C sockets. The rear gets its own screen to control the H vac in the rear of the vehicle, plenty of storage in fact the seat backs of the rear seats, actually open up like little doors. And there’s even more storage behind the seats, before you get into the booth at the back.
Let’s talk performance, how do you go naught to 60, well, GMC have given it a bit of a silly name. They let the marketing department loose with this one it’s called watts to freedom. I think that’s the first and last time I’m going to give them the pleasure of me saying what’s to freedom. It’s look it’s basically launch mode, just call it launch mode. So how do you propel a car that weighs as much as a small family house down the road, not to 60 in three seconds. Well, you lower the suspension you play some software trickery on the dampers and three seconds later, you’re approaching the legal speed limit and F 250 by the way we’ll do it, seven or eight seconds. And so, this is proper performance for people that want to buy a proper truck.
Driver information display is 12.3 inches in the middle is a 13.4 inch infotainment display. That middle screen that will also be able to display things you might want to when taking the vehicle off road GPS coordinates tire pressure, all around the angle the pitch the role of the truck in a pretty cool software, animation, so you can see exactly what your truck is doing all of the exterior cameras visible on this centre monitor, as well. And although there are no air supply lines to the tires in other words you can’t deflate and inflate the tires like you can with some trucks that are built for off roading, it will sound the horn when you’re deflating the tires, in order for you to know when you’ve reached the required PSI.
Supercruise is achieved with that black bar going over the top third of the steering wheel that incorporates some sensors, a camera looking back at the driver for some awareness eye tracking stuff, supercruise will allow you to self drive that version of autopilot on 200,000, miles of roads in the United States to do lane change and take a bit of the driving the onerous driving nature, away from the driver.
This version that we’re talking about today will come off the line in 2022 and cost over $112,000, but there will be cheaper versions.
One of the great things about EVs is they are smooth unruffled and quiet. So, obviously, the engineers have put into their nought to 60 launch mode, a seat rumble effect, and the speakers will make bass noises. I don’t know why car makers are doing all of this artificial assault on the senses to make it seem like you’re driving a combustion car. It’s stupid.
Each of the motors will output, 250 kilowatts of power.
So that’s a peek of 1000 horsepower although that horsepower is only really available in the 0 to 60 launch mode. It’s not to be unleashed in all driving modes.
And whilst we are talking about power, and wheels, I mentioned earlier in the podcast that GMC have put the headline out there of having 11 and a half thousand pound feet of torque which is insanity. And in many ways it’s just a changing of the definition of how torque is applied. Normal torque stats are about the torque from the engine. Here GMC have quoted it at the point the tyres meet the road. But of course, motors then go through gear ratio, before the torque gets to to the wheels.
Front gearbox has a 13.3 to one ratio and the two rear gearboxes have a 10.5 to one gear ratio. So therefore, you have to do the multiplication. I’ve read various EV blog today putting the equivalent torque between 800 and 1000lb ft of torque. That’s the number they should have given.
Yes, there is plenty of settings for regen braking. Yes, there is one pedal driving so you never need to touch the brake pedal.
In fact, there’s so much power inside the Hummer EV that they’ve had to write some software to protect the half shafts. If you floor it when the steering lock is turned on to full lock, and there’s so much power, it would just break the half shafts, the car will automatically apply only as much power as is safe.
BATTERY. The battery on the Hummer EV. We’ve been told is good for 350 miles of range and there’s over 200 kilowatt hours of stored energy. This is a double decker battery. It’s using GMs new battery technology developed alongside LG Chem. These pouch cells can either lay flat or they can stand up right depending on the vehicle they’re going in. And if you’re making a Hummer, which has plenty of ground clearance. You can actually position them upright and then stack them two by two.
These are what GM are calling their ultium batteries.
Whilst other car makers are making headlines by removing the cobalt from that batteries GMC ultium batteries, use the nickel, manganese aluminium and cobalt chemistry. You’ll hear it called NMCA. Cobolts is good for the cathode and longevity, but bad in terms of extracting it from the planet, and also being pretty rare as well.
Each module in the Hummer has 24 pouch cells stacked, standing upright.
And each 12 modules make up a layer, if you like, of the battery pack. So, the bottom layer is 400 volts. Then they stack on top of that, another 12 modules. And another 400 volt battery pack so together. It operates as an 800 volt system. A total of 576 battery cells.
From the pictures that we saw at the launch there’s very little wiring inside their new battery pack and that’s because each of the 24 modules talks to the BMS wirelessly.
So they’re not connected to the BMS by a spiders web of cables. But instead, all via wireless communication, GM say that that means, one of the benefits is that you are future proof, if a simple repair needs to be done to one module you can swap it out, or even in a few years time if there’s a better technology you can replace it module by module, and that will talk wirelessly to the battery management system to upgrade the technology.
You may remember back in the day when Tesla were first making EV’s they talked a lot about repair ability, and even most recently a battery day have gone completely down the route of integrating the battery into the vehicle at a structural level which whilst is still technically repairable. It’s not like the original model S’s where the battery would drop down and you could put a new one in. So an interesting difference in philosophy between those two companies, of course being an 800 volt system means that if you can find one of the 800 volt electrify America charges. It will charge at 350 kilowatt speeds.
One of the considerations of an 800 volts battery pack is, if you plug it into one of the many, many 400 volt chargers which are all over the place even up to 150kW, it would only pull something like 50kW. Other 800 volt makers like Porsche add a step down converters into the vehicle to get max charge speed. GM have developed a way for each of the two 400 volt layers of this double stacked battery pack to operate individually. So, you can still pull the maximum speed from a 400 volt charger.
I think I’m correct in saying that means it can switch from series to paralell configuration. Clever.
GM say, you can add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes
Of course that’s peak charging rate so once these cars are on the road. We look forward to seeing the charging curve and exactly how quickly you can charge one of these from zero to 100%. So what do you think of the Hummer EV.
Do they need to make it. Will you buy one. And will it bring more truck fans to the world of electric vehicles because of the sheer amount of power that this thing as.
Let us know in the comments below.
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