Word that GM executives were thinking of bringing the Hummer brand back with a series of electric vehicles first surfaced earlier this year, but more information has now come to light thanks to Reuters.
The publication says the alleged electric Hummer is the “centerpiece” of GM’s plan for the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which will remain open under the automaker’s proposed contract with the UAW. Previous reports indicated GM would allocate its forthcoming electric pickup truck and an electric van to the plant. Apparently, the automaker used the word “van” in an internal document as more of a catch-all term for the various electric utility vehicles and SUVs it may be planning for the site.
Referred to internally as BT1, the new GM electric-vehicle program is expected to spawn a variety of battery-powered vehicles. These will apparently include a GMC-branded pickup and a Cadillac crossover. The automaker may have a pair of electric pickups in the pipeline as well, with a Reuters‘ source saying a lower-cost electric truck will arrive in 2021 before the GMC-branded truck debuts at a later date.
The anonymous source also said that when the retooled Detroit-Hamtramck plant is up and running at full capacity in 2024, it will be building around 80,000 electric vehicles per year. GM is expecting to employ 2,225 workers at the plant, its UAW contract proposal indicated.
The new report also confirms previous rumors that GM plans on setting up a new battery cell production plant near the now-closed Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio. The new plant will be a joint venture between GM and another, yet-to-be-named company and is expected to employ a UAW-represented workforce.
A GM spokesperson told Reuters it would not comment on speculation, but reiterated the company’s plans to build an electric pickup truck, which it first divulged earlier this year.
“GM believes in an all-electric future and we are making great progress in that area,” the spokesperson said. “We have announced that a pickup truck will be part of our future portfolio, but have no additional information to provide.”
GM plans to price its first electric vehicles on the high end of the price spectrum, likely close to $100,000, before offering lower-cost versions at a later date. This should ensure the company can profit off of the battery-electric vehicles, which are typically much more expensive to engineer and produce than a comparable gasoline or diesel vehicle.
The UAW is currently voting on the new contract proposal, which was agreed upon by GM executives and union leaders last week. Results of the ratification vote are expected to be announced on October 25th. The union elected to remain on strike throughout the voting process—keeping GM’s U.S. production lines at a standstill for the time being.