For nearly 40 years, the HMMWV has served the US military faithfully. Now the armed forces want to test whether the new electric version is an option for them.
Before the Hummer H1 became a cult SUV, it had to prove itself as a workhorse in the service of the US military. The United States armed forces have been using the AM General diesel off-roader since the mid-1980s. The US military has already chosen the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) from the competing armaments company Oshkosh Defense as its successor; also AM General now offers a further development with the Humvee NXT 360 . With regard to environmental and climate protection, however, both models do not represent any significant progress: They are still powered by powerful turbo diesel engines; in the case of the JLTV, you can still have it with an additional electric motor and thus as a hybrid vehicle.
But is it possible to be completely battery-electric? Hard to imagine with a military vehicle that has to be prepared for all situations when in doubt; It's stupid if the energy runs out at the wrong moment or if the off-road vehicle is charged at the wall box when the alarm goes off. But you can try it out, thinks the US military. And has GM Defense, the armament arm of the General Motors group and thus another competitor of the HMMWV producer AM General, provide a GMC Hummer EV (see photo show and video).
For analysis and demonstration purposes
The US Army receives the powerful electric pickup truck for analysis and demonstration purposes. "This is intended to show the US Army what an all-electric super truck can do and how the underlying technology can be leveraged for future defense needs," said Steve duMont, President of GM Defense. The company wants to show that by adapting the new Hummer to the needs of the military, they can also reduce their dependency on fossil fuels.
To what extent the model will be adapted for the US Army is not yet known. In its production version, the GMC Hummer EV , which is based on GM Group's Ultium electric architecture, has a battery pack with 24 modules. This should ensure a maximum range of 529 kilometers and, thanks to its 800-volt technology, it can be recharged with up to 350 kW; in twelve minutes, almost 160 kilometers can be "refueled". Of course, the necessary drive power is available: In its top version, the GMC Hummer EV offers three engines with an output of more than 1,000 hp and a maximum torque of almost 15,600 Newton meters (measured at the wheels; combined value of both axles). This should enable a sprint time to 60 miles per hour (96.6 km/h) of around 3.0 seconds.
Can electric vehicles be used sensibly in military service? Hard to imagine - but if you don't try it, you'll never find out. So the US Army is now testing, using the GMC Hummer EV as an example, how the e-pickup could be integrated into the everyday life of the armed forces. We are curious if the armed forces will share their experiences with the public.