Hybrids & Electrics

Is The GMC Hummer Vaporware? No Test Mules Exist Yet

While we’re happy to see the GMC Hummer so far ahead of its 2022 launch, now we are concerned. Why? Because normally it takes from three to five years of development time for an entirely new vehicle. That’s from concept to finished product. A lot of that time is for testing mules and prototypes. Especially something as new as an electric pickup truck. So we are a bit shocked to find out that so far there are no test mules that exist. Yikes! So is the EV that has unveiled this week during the World Series just vaporware? 

According to GM, the 2022 GMC Hummer will launch in about a year. So they’re telling us that even though there has not been a single mule built and tested that this whole thing will come together in one year? We think not based on what we know about development times. 

Just look at the upcoming Volkswagen ID. Buzz retro EV Microbus. The concept was unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in January. It is due in 2022. That is a five year development time. Or take the electric Mustang Mach E. Set to start deliveries in 2021, it was first being developed in 2017. Again, it has taken five years from initial development to deliveries.

That doesn’t engender confidence that GM can go from no test vehicles to production in one year

2022 GMC Hummer EV overhead | GMC

Both the ID. BUZZ and Mustang Mach E are virtually clean sheet electric vehicles like the Hummer. “Interestingly enough, we don’t have a vehicle yet,” chief engineer Al Oppenheiser told Green Car Reports. “We’re building our first test vehicle as we speak; the vehicle you see in the video is our display vehicle.” OK, but that doesn’t engender confidence that GM can go from no test vehicles to production in one year.

According to the Truth About Cars the Hummer got the green light for development in April 2019. Once we know that it means that the Hummer EV will go from concept to production in under three years. That’s especially a short amount of time, especially when you consider that this is really the first EV pickup truck to surface. It’s all new and also an entirely new segment. Shouldn’t GM need a bit more development time to get this right?

Because some of the main components are modular it has saved time for development

The GMC Hummer EV is an all-electric pickup truck.
GMC Hummer EV | GMC

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Oppenheiser went on to tell Green Car that because some of the main components are modular it has saved time for development. Also, the Ultium battery packs are fully developed and need no more test time. To us, it seems optimistic, but we’re not on the Hummer team, which, by the way, has seen many Corvette C8 engineers added to its staff. That project took more than five years from start to finish. 

Shortening lead times for product development has been a goal of manufacturers forever. But while it has been a goal it never seems to happen. Are we seeing a first with the Hummer’s development time? 

Don’t forget that just because GM is telling us the Hummer will be out this time next year doesn’t guarantee it. We’ve seen with the C8 Corvette that there are many unexpected issues that can stop a vehicle’s development time and production. Whatever will be the timeline for the Hummer will come into focus soon enough.