GM is reportedly considering a return to the Hummer brand, but not in the traditional Hummer way. No, a report from Bloomberg says that GM is mulling over the idea of building an electric Hummer. The report cites unnamed sources within GM, as the folks prefer not to be named due to the private nature of the conversations.
At this point, Bloomberg characterizes the Hummer talks as preliminary discussions. GM is figuring out how it wants to organize its future electric trucks and SUVs, and Hummer is a part of those discussions. Just as anyone would expect, Hummer could be used to profit off the current demand for rugged and tough vehicles. Mark Reuss didn't commit either way to a Hummer revival when asked by Bloomberg. "I love Hummer. I don't know. We're looking at everything," Reuss said.
Other GM sources said that the company sees an opportunity to compete with Jeep for off-road vehicles that have creature comforts commanding high premiums. The report states that designers have done work with Hummer concepts, experimenting with Hummer styling to implement it on GMC-branded products, too.
There's also the question of whether an electric Hummer is a smart move to begin with. Folks bought up Hummers before because they're big, brawny, good off-road, and gas was cheap. Gas is relatively cheap today, but attitudes around cars that achieve 10 mpg have changed. Rivian thinks that consumers are interested in premium electric SUVs and trucks, and the hype around that company is real right now. An electric Hummer would undoubtedly go after the same space as the Rivian R1S. The number of people willing to drop over $70,000 on an electric adventure vehicle is still untested, though.
Even if GM did give an electric Hummer project the green light, we're still years away. We know GM is currently in development of an electric pickup truck platform, but that doesn't mean it's anywhere close to production. We haven't seen a new Hummer since GM halted sales of the brand in 2010. The recession and high gas prices drove sales down so low that Hummer declared bankruptcy in 2009, but GM still kept the brand in its portfolio. It's hard to think of a better time than the SUV and crossover hoopla of today to introduce something like an electric Hummer, but until we hear something more substantial from GM, the vehicle is going to remain a rumor.