The United States Army wants a Hummer.
General Motors said this week that the US Army has selected its subsidiary – GM Defense, to provide a completely electric vehicle for demonstration purposes. The Army also intends to test and study the Hummer EV to determine its viability for future military usage.
“The United States Army has purchased one Hummer from GM Defense,” stated Sonia Taylor, a GM Defense spokesman. She wouldn’t specify how much the Army spent for it, but the retail Hummer, made at Factory Zero in Detroit and Hamtramck, starts at $108,700.
I’ve previously reported that numerous police forces across the world are switching to electric vehicles. The US Postal Service has increased its commitment to electric cars, and the Biden administration intends to do everything possible to bring more EVs into government fleets.
“The goal of this need is to obtain a new light to heavy duty Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or series-hybrid electric wheeled vehicle, for Government analysis and demonstration,” the Army stated in its offer.
It is said that the vehicle will serve the “The Army must include a scalable and flexible capability that minimizes its dependency on fossil fuels in both combat and garrison contexts. The truck will also show its capacity to create, store, and transfer electricity to the Soldier.”
GM Defense revealed in 2021 that it was working on transforming the Hummer EV into an electric light reconnaissance vehicle. The model would use the same frame, electric motors, and batteries as the production version. The body was being modified for military duty by the business.
This military Hummer EV prototype was intended to be available in 2022. However, it remained unclear whether this new declaration was in reference to the specially modified Hummer. Motor1.com contacted GM Defense for clarification.
The vehicle might potentially be used as a mobile power source. According to Army papers, the vehicle “will also demonstrate the capacity to create, store, and transfer electricity to the Soldier.” Given the large range of battery-powered equipment the Army intends to equip soldiers with in the future, it makes sense.
In this aspect, the Hummer EV is well-equipped. Its 120-volt power outlets may provide up to three kW. It may also be outfitted with a six-kW, 240-volt outlet known as the Power Station, which is designed to charge other EVs. It’s not quite as good as the Ford F-150 Lightning, but it’ll do.
In terms of pure performance, the Hummer EV does not disappoint. The vehicle’s electric drivetrain generates 1,000 horsepower, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds.
It’s also designed to withstand severe off-road situations which is where its ICE predeceases have proven themselves. The battery is well-protected from harm but might require additional protection for combat applications. Thanks to a recent upgrade, it also has 15.9 inches of ground clearance and outstanding approach and departure angles.
GM already has a lot of expertise making military vehicles. In 2020, GM Defense was awarded a $214 million contract to equip the Army with the Infantry Squad Vehicle. It’s based on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and is made out of 90% commercial off-the-shelf parts. It is designed for mobility and can transport nine soldiers and their equipment into battle.
Using electric vehicles would be a significant move for the military, with particular logistical issues. However, fossil fuel sources come with their own set of constraints, especially during times of conflict. It makes a lot of sense to evaluate and explore these choices early on.