If GMC‘s engineers got it right with the upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck, we may someday wonder why off-road vehicles have not always been electric, and consider two-pedal off-roading to be a thing of the past.
Aaron Pfau, Lead Development Engineer for the GMC Hummer EV, stopped just short of saying this in a video entitled Inflection Point: Putting Everybody in an EV, which can be found at the GMExhibitZero website launched earlier this week.
What Pfau actually did say was this: “In Terrain Mode, the GMC Hummer EV offers one-pedal driving for precision handling at low speeds while off-roading and rock crawling.
“It combines the fine control of the immediate torque provided by the EV propulsion system and the friction brakes to deliver a level of modulation that is beyond anything we could deliver from a gas- or diesel-powered vehicle.”
The significant point here is that, like in many EVs in the market, the driver of a Hummer EV will be able to transition from accelerating to braking simply by releasing pressure on the accelerator pedal. In an ICE vehicle, achieving the same effect requires completely releasing that pedal, moving one’s foot a few inches to the left and then applying the brake pedal. The release and application require at least as much care in off-road situations as they do on a race track. One-pedal operation is simpler, quicker and potentially more accurate.
“It is a smooth experience, providing finely modulated power control that can dominate the most difficult terrain,” Pfau concludes.
Other off-road assistance features offered with the Hummer EV include tire pressure sensor software and Dynamic Bump Zone suspension. An Extreme Off-Road package will be standard on the Edition 1 and optional on the EV3X and EV2X, but not on the EV2.
The Edition 1 will be the first Hummer EV to go on sale, arriving in the fall of 2021 and priced to start from $112,595. It will be followed by the $99,995 EV3X (arriving in the fall of 2022), the $89,995 EV2X (arriving in the spring of 2023) and finally the $79,995 EV2 (arriving in the spring of 2024). Each version can in theory be pre-ordered at a cost of $100, but in the case of the Edition 1, all 10,000 registrations were snapped up within ten minutes of their becoming available.
Meanwhile, an SUV version of the Hummer EV is expected to be officially revealed in an ad to be aired during Super Bowl LV on February 7th, though GM gave a real-life glimpse of that vehicle during the Barclays 2020 Global Automotive Conference on November 19th. The SUV will likely be technically similar to the pickup truck.