More than a year after its unveiling, General Motors proudly announced that it was now delivering its Hummer EV Edition 1 Pickup, a 9,000-pound (4,082 kilograms) luxury electric beast with a 1,000-horsepower motor that can go from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in three seconds. The message: You can do your part to save the planet, if you’re rich that is.
In a press release on Friday, GM announced the beginning of “a new era” for the company, marked by the delivery of its first next-generation electric vehicles. Unfortunately, that new era is headlined by the Hummer EV Edition 1, a $US110,295 ($154,777) car with an estimated 329 miles (529 kilometers) of range, “modular sky panels,” the ability to do a “crabwalk” and drive diagonally, and an “extract mode” to navigate over boulders and water.
Luckily, this isn’t GM’s last EV. The company, which is working towards selling only zero emission cars and trucks by 2035, has plans to release 30 new electric vehicles over the next four years. According to the release, two-thirds of those new cars will be available in North America.
“Both commercial and retail customers will benefit from the EV experience, from exhilarating acceleration to low cost of operation, versatility, and ability to customise after the sale,” GM president Mark Reuss said in a statement. “GM is ideally positioned to provide EVs for every customer in every segment, retail or commercial.”
While I do get that it makes business sense to create an electric vehicle for certain customer segments, debuting a luxury electric truck like this when the planet is in crisis is flabbergasting. We need to electrify everything, and fast, to tackle climate change. Although the all-electric Hummer EV Edition 1 is an (unnecessary) example of the change we need, its price tag will keep it out of reach for the majority, which is exactly the opposite of what is needed. (Electrek reports that less expensive versions of the Hummer EV, beginning at $US80,000 ($112,264), will begin to hit the market over the next two years).
Don’t be fooled into thinking that GM doesn’t know how to make cars that benefit the planet and its business, though. Besides starting to ship the Hummer EV Edition 1, GM also began delivering its BrightDrop EV600 electric delivery trucks to customer FedEx, which has ordered 500 EV600s. The EV600 can travel 402 km (402 kilometers) on a maximum charge and carry up to 2,200 pounds (997 kilograms).
FedEx chief sustainability officer Mitch Jackson told CNBC that sustainability is a core part of the business and that it was looking at the scalability of electric vehicles.
“We use a lot of vehicles in our operation, and we need a lot of vehicles in order to make a sizeable difference in our operations,” Jackson said, according to the outlet. “We need that scale, and we need that production capability.”
The world also needs a lot of electric vehicles to make a sizeable difference in its response to the climate crisis. Those vehicles need to be accessible to all and designed with the majority of society’s needs in mind. In other words, they’re very different from the Hummer EV Edition 1.