Months after General Motors started delivering its first Hummer EVs, the company is reportedly only producing around 12 of the massive electric trucks a day, according to The Wall Street Journal. That’s an abysmally slow pace, even compared to how many electric trucks other automakers are making: the Journal says Ford’s producing around 150 F-150 Lightings a day, whereas Rivian’s Q1 production numbers indicate it’s making somewhere between 30 and 40 EVs a day (Rivian didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for more specific numbers).
Recently, GM announced that it was raising the Hummer EV’s price by $6,250, citing “higher prices for parts, technology and logistics,” according to CNBC.
Around 77,500 people have signed up for GM’s Hummer EV waitlist, according to Chad Lyons, a GM spokesperson. If the company kept on producing 12 of the trucks a day — a figure Lyons declined to confirm — it’d take around 17 and a half years to get through everyone on the waitlist. Not surprisingly, it does want to pick up its pace — in an email to The Verge, Lyons said GM plans to “drastically increase” its production rate later this year. The WSJ says this is thanks to the fact that the company’s battery factory in Ohio will be coming online (GM also has other battery factories in the works). The implication is that Hummer production is slow because GM has to get batteries from LG, which it worked with to make its factory.
While I don’t doubt that GM will get some benefit from vertical integration, it’s not like LG has a reputation for being a total slouch when it comes to supplying batteries. This is the same company that has produced and paid for tens of thousands of new battery packs during the Chevy Bolt recall. To be fair, though, the Hummer EV’s battery pack — which is heavier than an entire Honda Civic — has significantly more cells than the Bolt’s.
Producing vehicles has been particularly difficult for everyone in the past few years, with chip shortages leading to delays, production slowdowns, and even vehicles being shipped out of the factory with missing features. Still, it’s a bit concerning to hear that GM’s moving so slowly with the Hummer EV. The company announced a huge slate of upcoming EVs, including another truck, the Silverado EV, two SUVs, and an entirely new brand of electric cars. It’s also working on electric delivery vans. Several of those projects rely on the same Ultium battery pack design as the Hummer.