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Understanding the Ultium Technologies That Power the Hummer EV

GMC Hummer EV 8 photos
Photo: GMC Division of General Motors LLC
GMC Hummer EV Ultium DrivetrainGMC Hummer EV Ultium BatteriesGMC Hummer EVGMC Hummer EVGMC Hummer EVGMC Hummer EVGMC Hummer EV Ultium Units
The new Hummer has been revealed and it has everyone talking. We did expect to see an all-electric reincarnation of the legendary truck, but we were all taken by surprise by its tremendous power, range, and of course, price.
At the heart of this mighty EV stand the latest technological advancements of General Motors, which has been developing what they call that they Ultium Drive for the last 25 years.

It includes a family of five interchangeable drive units, two electric motors, and a revolutionary battery cell, all of which will feature, on the next generation of GM-developed EVs.

The carmaker announced that the Ultium motors will offer extremely high amounts of torque and power density when it first revealed the technology and we finally get to see that they were not exaggerating.

GMC Hummer EV Ultium Drivetrain
Photo: GMC Division of General Motors LLC
The Hummer EV highlights the huge potential of this technology using a three-motor drive that can produce up to 1,000 hp that, when multiplied through the two drive units’ gear ratios, resulting in 11,500 lb-ft of torque available at the wheel.

Moreover, the truck uses a driver-controlled regenerative braking feature GMC calls Regen on Demand, which can convert the kinetic energy of the Hummer’s forward momentum into electricity that is stored in the battery packs.

These Ultium batteries are, according to GM,” unique in the industry” because of the format of their cells, which can be stacked either vertically or horizontally inside the battery pack.

The Edition 1 Hummer EV features a 24-module battery pack that consists of two layers of vertically stacked cell modules, which should offer a range of more than 350 miles (564 kilometers).

This battery pack also improves the truck’s structure and driving dynamics. Its low mounting position means a lower center of gravity that increases control and stability, also makes the new truck the stiffest GM has ever built.

GMC Hummer EV Ultium Batteries
Photo: GMC Division of General Motors LLC
The reduced dimensions of the pack also enable engineers to develop an ideally proportioned off-road chassis, which has a short front overhang and short front breakover angle.

Ultium batteries will have some of the highest nickel content of any large-pouch format battery on the market while exponentially decreasing the content of the rare and expensive cobalt.

This is done through an innovative nickel, cobalt, manganese, aluminum (NCMA) ‘recipe’ developed with the help of LG Cem.

Another first for GM vehicles is the use of a wireless battery management system that balances the load of the cell groups for improved performance and maximizes battery life.

GMC Hummer EV
Photo: GMC Division of General Motors LLC
GMC’s first EV truck will be capable of fast charging using 350-kilowatt DC fast chargers, the fastest technology currently available.

Also, a unit within the battery can switch it from its legacy 400-volts to 800-volts for charging, allowing it to add almost 100 miles (161 kilometers) of range in 10 minutes of charging. Due to the native 400-volts, the truck can also be charged with older, conventional 400-volt chargers without the need for a converter.

Available in 2022 for over $100,000, the Edition 1 Hummer EV will become the king of EV off-roaders thanks in large to the Ultium Drive technologies, just as the original Hummer was for combustion-engine trucks.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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