The Hummer has been resurrected as an electric vehicle, and now its military counterpart may be as well. General Motors is making a prototype vehicle for the US military that is based on the forthcoming Hummer EV in 2022, CNBC reports.
The so-called “electric Light Reconnaissance Vehicle,” or eLRV, will use modified versions of the Hummer EV’s frame, electric motors, and GM’s new Ultium battery pack, though it may not look exactly like the consumer version.
GM resurrected its defense unit in 2017 and said last year that it believes there’s a $25 billion market for creating new vehicles for the military, including EVs. It has already nabbed a $214 million contract to build infantry squad vehicles for the Army, including one version that uses parts from the Chevy Bolt EV.
A 2019 study from Brown University calculated that the US military is the largest institutional polluter in the world and produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 140 countries.
That has inspired a few other would-be electric vehicle manufacturers to target the military fleet in addition to GM. Both Nikola and Lordstown Motors have built demonstration vehicles and pitched them as potentially huge lines of business — though neither struggling startup has been able to strike a deal.
While GM sees great opportunity selling EVs to the military, it doesn’t sound like the Hummer-based eLRV will become as ubiquitous as the original gas-powered Hummer — at least not right away. Kathleen Hicks, the deputy secretary of the defense department, told CNBC that she believes integrating electric vehicles in the military’s fleet will be “very challenging,” especially because of charging infrastructure. But, she said, “[e]lectrifying the non-tactical fleet, that’s a no-brainer.”