GM showcases new electric Hummer, teases flying taxi


General Motors showcased a range of all-electric vehicles during its CES event this week, staged online due to the pandemic, including an electric GMC Hummer pickup and a four-rotor autonomous flying Cadillac pod concept vehicle.

Lead development engineer Aaron Pfau says the electric GMC Hummer pickup will be capable of zero to 60 miles-per-hour in about three seconds.

During GM’s CES event, Pfau also showcased a new mode called “Watts to Freedom,” which launches the new Hummer from a sitting start.

“I’ve experienced the thrill of jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet, in my opinion, this is better,” he says.

GM scrapped the Hummer brand early in 2010 after the company emerged from bankruptcy protection.

The Hummer, once a gas-guzzling target for environmentalists, is making a comeback. But this time around it won’t burn fuel or spew greenhouse gases.

“Hummer is a brand that went away quite some time ago, definitely wasn’t exactly the environmentalist favorite, but now coming back in the fully electric form, the idea is to bring all the excitement and capability of a Hummer that we’re used to seeing, but do that in a new all-electric way. And really, the electrification actually makes a lot of sense for off-road vehicles,” says auto expert Tim Stevens.

GM also showcased the new Cadillac Lyriq luxury SUV, featuring lots of new technology, including a head-up display and driver recognition.

“The Lyriq is an uncompromising SUV, the embodiment of Cadillac innovation and a showcase of technologies you will see repeated over future Cadillac EVs,” says Candice Willett, advanced lead creative designer at Cadillac.

“Cadillac is definitely a brand that needs reinvention. And so, really going hardcore on electrification and also on technology is, I think, a great way to go for them,” says Stevens.

During its CES presentation, GM even showed a video of a four-rotor autonomous flying Cadillac pod concept vehicle.

“The vertical takeoff and landing drone or Vertile, is GM’s first foray into aerial mobility. We are preparing for a world where advances in electric and autonomous technology make personal air travel possible,” says Michael Simcoe, vice president of global design at GM.

GM has pledged to roll out 30 new electric vehicles globally and spend $27 billion developing them by 2025.

“Right now, of course, Tesla’s the brand with the most cars on the road as far EVs ideas go, the most range available, and ultimately, the most fun EVs on the road, too,” says Stevens.

“So, GM has a long way to go to catch up, but the products and the technologies they showed today should go a long way of bridging that gap.”

The four-day digital version of CES 2021 gadget show began on Monday, January 11 and will run till Thursday, January 14.

Its organizer, The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), says almost two-thousand companies will be taking part, including Samsung, LG, IBM, Intel, OMRON, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi.  

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