GM reportedly set to revive Hummer brand with electric ute
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One of the world’s most polluting passenger vehicles is set for the most ironic of returns.
Reports from the Wall Street Journal have stated that General Motors is looking to revive the military-style Hummer behemoth as an electric ute.
The Hummer is best known for tearing up deserts in the Middle East as a US military vehicle and for dominating suburban streets with its gigantic frame.
It also became an object of hate in some cities, and vehicles were vandalised by environmental activists.
GM ceased production of the Hummer in 2009, but the reports suggest the US maker is seriously considering the resurrection with an on-sale date mooted for early 2022.
GM has reportedly enlisted the help of NBA megastar LeBron James to promote the return of the Hummer and plans to air an ad during the coming Super Bowl. A Super Bowl ad usually costs more than $5m for a 30-second slot.
The revived electric Hummer ute would compete with American-style pick-up trucks, including the off-road focused Jeep Gladiator due in New Zealand in the middle of this year.
While an electric Hummer seems incongruous, it does make sense for GM which is developing a range of large electric SUVs and pick-ups.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra said on an earnings call in March last year: “We intend to create an all-electric future that includes a complete range of EVs, including full-size pick-ups.”
The electric set-up found in a future Hummer pick-up truck could find its way to New Zealand via one of the maker’s large SUVs such as the Acadia sold under the Holden brand.
Other car makers are well advanced in building electric utes. Ford is the closest to bringing an electric ute into production with its electric F-150 pick-up expected to be revealed some time this year.
Ford has already shown off the vehicle’s ability with a video of the prototype towing 10 massive rail cars loaded with 42 regular F-150 trucks weighing more than 450 tonnes.
Tesla also sent shockwaves around the world when it revealed the new Cybertruck in November last year.
The head-turning electric ute looks like it has driven straight out of an ‘80s sci-fi movie with an odd triangle shape and a mass of jagged edges.
Tesla says the car should enter production from late 2021 with the first deliveries commencing the following year.
In the first few days after the Cybertruck was revealed Musk said the car had received almost 200,000 pre-orders, which only required a deposit of $US100 ($145).
The move by Ford and GM into electric vehicles could give their share price a much-needed boost. Tesla’s share price has jumped to about $US540 ($782) a share, which values the company at more than the combined worth of both Ford and GM.
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