The GMC Hummer EV, unveiled last week to fanfare and memories of the original gas guzzlers with the same badge, is more than an expensive showpiece. It's a crucial element of General Motors' plan to scale electric vehicle production.
The pickup is "going to lead to all the learnings from a battery standpoint, from a volume standpoint, from a build standpoint," GM President Mark Reuss told investors last week. "All of those lessons as we roll out this truck will be taken into every one of the old GM platforms."
Hummer also sets the tone for bringing EVs to fruition quickly. GM has said it will launch 20 EVs by 2023. It unveiled the Hummer pickup just 18 months after development work began, and that timetable will become the standard for GM vehicles, Hummer chief engineer Al Oppenheiser said.
"Our leadership has challenged us to bring the Hummer EV to market fast, using our analytical tools, our computer-aided engineering and less physical vehicle testing," he said.