Hummer fans hope new electric model redeems the divisive brand they love #Breaking112
As Oberer sees it, his family owes everything to his diesel-powered Hummer.
The Hummer dates to 1983, when Indiana manufacturer AM General won an Army contract to produce the vehicle. AM General began producing a civilian version of the truck in 1992, after the Hummer was used in the Gulf War.
For Hummer loyalists, the electric version offers a chance to appease environmental critics. But they also have concerns that the switch could impact its off-roading prowess. They wonder if it’ll have the battery range for a weekend of off-roading in remote locations, far from charging stations. So far, little is known about GM’s electric Hummer, including its price, though the company has said it’ll go 0-60 mph in three seconds and have up to 1,000 horsepower.
A GMC spokeswoman told CNN Business that the vehicle would have extreme off-roading capability, and declined to reveal its range.
Oberer also said he feels torn on the switch to electric motors, as his business could be impacted. He hopes that he has 10 to 20 years to transition his business away from internal combustion engines, and would like to see a retrofit program for converting vehicles.
The silent Hummer
CNN Business spoke with four longtime Hummer owners, all who said the diesel engine in the Hummer H1 and its gears make for a distinct, powerful sound.
“Does this thing get any quieter?” Mark Price recalled yelling at a car dealership employee in 1999, immediately after turning on an H1 on his first test drive. Price had to have one.
“It just screamed alpha male. Diesel smell and loud noise,” Price told CNN Business. “It was slow, it was gigantic. It was like nothing you’ve ever driven before in your life.”
He’s open to embracing a quiet Hummer. He believes that an electric Hummer could bring the best of both worlds if its maintains its off-roading ability and is environmentally friendly.
Price said he’d love to test drive an electric Hummer on an off-roading course, to determine if it gets his stamp of approval.
Oberer too, says he won’t mind a silent Hummer. For him, the Hummer brand is defined by power.
“You can tow a house off a foundation,” Oberer said. “That’s what makes it a Hummer.”
Grant Rees, who has owned five Hummers over the years, said he’s happy to see the Hummer brand keep up with the times and go electric. He hopes that the Hummer will have 500 miles of range, to suit his off-roading trips.
Mike Miserendino of Noblesville, Indiana, who uses his Hummer H1 to volunteer for emergency response efforts, hopes that the new Hummer matches the brand’s reputation durability and toughness.
“Is the utility there where I can abuse it?” MIserendino said. “If it lives up to that I’m sure there will be a new audience for it.”
“All things being equal it’s better that it’s electric,” Schmitt said. “But taking large SUVs that are wasteful and turning them electric isn’t going to solve all our environmental problems.”