As the first electric truck to be unveiled by a legacy manufacturer, the GMC Hummer EV marks a new chapter in the American pickup market. While General Motors has certainly built battery-powered vehicles in the past, one look at the Hummer is enough to know this is something entirely different. Clearly this is no Bolt, but MC&T recently caught up with Vehicle Performance Engineer Todd Hubbard to find out just how different the new GMC and its GM BT1 platform is from other trucks we see today.
“I don’t think there’s any,” said Hubbard when asked if there was any part sharing between the Hummer and other GM products.
Aside from the unique sheetmetal, there are more clues that the Hummer EV is 100 percent unique. The interior, for example, seems to bare no commonalities with today’s GM trucks and utility vehicles. Maybe the window switch gear is the same? But with the design being “98 percent” there, we could see very subtle changes from now by the time the “super truck” launches at the end of 2021 with the Edition 1 model.
While we knew that the GMC Hummer EV would carry a significant amount of unique hardware, it is surprising to learn that the BT1 and T1 platforms are that different. General Motors is infamous for their love of parts sharing across platforms and brands, spearheading the brand-engineering movement for decades. As we move into a more electrified age however, it appears they are taking full advantage of bespoke EV platforms.
That being said, it’s expected that GM will do its best to scale its BT1 architecture debuting in the GMC Hummer EV across multiple vehicle programs and brands. Such as an electric Chevrolet Silverado, which was teased during the recent Barclays Automotive Industry Conference. The Ultium battery technology will also be implemented in every electric GM vehicle going forward.
Electric vehicles don’t have to be designed with the same constraints as an ICE-powered vehicle, starting with the chassis itself. General Motors must have felt that the benefits of designing this platform from the ground-up outweighed the cost savings presented by using the T1 architecture in its entirety. Ford has gone the other route here, as the electric F-150 will ostensibly be built on the same production line as the gas-powered truck. This will bring cost savings to customers initially, but it’s safe to imagine the BT1 platform will become cheaper as GM unveils more models sharing that architecture.