DETROIT: General Motors said it has sold out the first year's worth of its hulking GMC Hummer EV electric pickup truck after a splashy video reveal on Tuesday (Oct 21).
The GMC website showed a "reservations full" banner over the Hummer EV "Edition 1", due to start production in the fall of 2021. The next version of the truck, the US$99,995 Hummer EV 3X, is not scheduled to begin production until the fall of 2022.
The least expensive Hummer EV, starting at US$79,995, is scheduled to go into production in the spring of 2024, GM said.
The Hummer EV was designed and engineered in 18 months, GM officials said during a presentation on Wednesday. The brawny truck can "crab walk" sideways on rough terrain using its four-wheel steering system, and has a "Watts to Freedom" mode that accelerates the truck to 60 miles per hour (97kph) in 3 seconds.
The Hummer EV is in part a response to Tesla Inc's Cybertruck, which has a very different but equally eye-grabbing design and a bevy of extreme performance features. The Cybertruck's starting price is US$39,900, though a model with 500 miles of range starts at US$69,900.
Tesla has begun building a factory in Austin, Texas to build the Cybertruck starting in late 2021.
The head of GM's GMC division, Duncan Aldred, said about half the brand's dealers have agreed to sell the Hummer EV lineup. GM is taking orders on its website, and Aldred said the company's intent is to offer no-haggle prices. The online reservations and firm pricing are similar to the Tesla approach.
High-performance electric pickup trucks could be a crowded niche in the US market, with eight companies promising to launch models by the end of 2021.
Ford Motor Co is promising an electric version of its F-series pickup, though Ford has said its electric pickup will be aimed at customers who want to use the truck for work. GM has Chevrolet versions of its electric truck in the works.
Startups Rivian, Nikola and Lordstown Motors are among other companies that have electric pickups in development.