Identity Crisis: Prindiville's electric Hummer
By C.C. Weiss
November 26, 2012
The Hummer is the poster child for the big, gas-guzzling mentality of decades past that's categorically shunned in today's eco-sensitive world. One boutique automotive firm has decided to blend a Hummer-style body and features with an all-electric powertrain, creating a Hummer for a new generation.
Back when all that car buyers worried about were self-involved considerations like space and utility, the Hummer was one of the big, capable SUVs that took over highways and country roads. To hell with the fact that in most cases the beast would never see a speck of dirt, it was roomy, powerful and just plain cool – everything a driver needed. Of course, as the car-buying public grew weary of gas prices and environmental damage, the Hummer's appeal quickly faded and the brand spiraled into obsolescence. After an attempt to sell the brand failed, GM nailed Hummer's doors shut in 2010.
UK coachbuilder Prindiville has decided to resuscitate the Hummer name with a jolt of electricity. Its Electric Hummer uses a 72-volt electric powertrain and lightweight build to bring a shade of eco-friendliness to the Hummer nameplate.
Though Prindiville mentions that the Electric Hummer is officially licensed from GM and "built to traditional specification," it appears more akin to a Power Wheels styled like a Hummer than an actual H3. Designed for "daily city commuter transport, commercial fleets, or businesses who wish to take advantage of a unique and eye-catching advertising medium," the rear-wheel-drive Electric Hummer has no off-road ambitions.
That's good, because the tiny range (between 30 and 60 miles/48 and 96 km depending upon configuration) would likely leave you stranded in the wild, while the 40 mph (64 km/h) top speed would be brutally slow on the drive to the trail head. As the naked eye suspects, the 2-seat, 3-door car's 9.8 x 4.6 x 4.6-foot (3 x 1.4 x 1.4-m) sizing is significantly smaller than a traditional Hummer.
The "Hummer" aspect of the Prindiville is clearly about branding and novelty, but the car offers some noteworthy elements when analyzed by its own virtue. It gets the most out of its 72-volt powertrain by employing a lightweight high-grade steel chassis and fiberglass body. It also uses fully adjustable four-wheel suspension, adaptive rear drums and front hydraulic disc brakes. The AC brushless motor is connected to a 2-speed automatic transmission.
Prindiville is debuting the Electric Hummer in a 25-run Limited Edition series. Limited Edition models include carbon fiber detailing, injection-molded LED headlamps and tail lamps, and a chrome grille. Inside, driver and passenger will enjoy heated seats, an LCD dashboard display, Pioneer audio system with CD and MP3, and Prindiville floor mats.
The Limited Edition Prindiville Hummer is available for order now at a base price of US$40,000. Available options include leather interior, carbon fiber trim and a solar panel roof.