EarthCruiser morphing Hummer EV into off-grid electric super-camper
EarthCruiser kicked off 2023 with an update on its electric overland camper program, and now it's back with a more specific all-electric project: an off-road camper based on the Hummer EV Pickup. The Oregon-based expedition vehicle company is partnering directly with GMC on the build, transforming the highly off-road-capable Hummer EV truck into an even more capable overland explorer. The "world's first all-electric supertruck" is about to become the world's first all-electric super-camper.
EarthCruiser has been working to be at the forefront of electric overlanding and is one of the first overland brands to explore all-electric camper design. At a time when even the most established motorhome makers aren't yet ready to get fully electric production RVs out onto highways, EarthCruiser is looking to push them far beyond pavement. EarthCruiser's electric ambitions caught GMC's eye as the GM brand looks to build its own reputation for premium electric trucks and SUVs.
"We had an instant connection with EarthCruiser – a leader in the overland community – and their similar vision to accelerate the zero-tailpipe-emissions future," recounted Josh Tavel, GM's executive chief engineer for battery electric trucks. "EarthCruiser products have proven their performance in environments around the world and we’re excited to join them on this next chapter of adventure and exploration."
GMC will work with the EarthCruiser Innovation (ECI) research and design arm to prepare what it's calling "a next-generation overland upfit solution for electric vehicles" to be introduced on the Hummer EV Pickup. It isn't yet detailing what form that solution will take.
EarthCruiser is most experienced building trucks with chassis-mounted living modules, a configuration that's underpinned everything from its first large expedition motorhomes in Australia through to its newest Terranova camper trucks. However, its electric camper program has so far focused entirely on slide-in campers for pickup beds, and interested parties can already make reservations for this style of EarthCruiser EV camper. The company also has some previous experience with overland pickup campers from its GZL lineup of full and midsize slide-ins.
Looking at the first teaser picture the companies released with Thursday's announcement, it's hard to tell for sure which form the overland motorhome module is currently taking. However, the distinct flared sidewall and lower fender bulge look to be a slide-in pickup camper riding atop the Hummer's short bed. The vague outline of the wheel arch and rear bumper further support the idea of a camper a top the Hummer bed, as does the subtle rear-wall indentation that appears to show the camper meeting the top of the pickup bed.
The low, uninterrupted roof line indicates that EarthCruiser will likely equip the camper with its signature pop-up roof and load it up with solar panels. While working directly with GMC could open the possibility of using the traction battery as a camping power source, it seems more likely the parties would want to save that power for motivating the hulking multi-ton truck to and from camp while running a separate battery system for camper equipment.
Whatever its final spec, the new electric expedition rig promises to complement the Hummer EV Pickup's inherent off-road capability, which includes features like "CrabWalk" and adjustable-height "Extract Mode," with an equally tough, ready-for-anything self-contained living module.
"EarthCruiser designs its vehicles to thrive in the most extreme, toughest environments imaginable," said EarthCruiser founder and CEO Lance Gillies. “From the Australian Outback to the Alaskan wilderness and everywhere in between, an EarthCruiser was made to tackle tough terrain. As we consider the future of overlanding, we are continuing to look toward key technologies like electrification that will help us explore for decades to come. Electrification presents exciting opportunities for overland use, such as precise torque control over terrain and ease of use, in addition to zero-tailpipe emissions."
GMC and EarthCruiser plan to reveal the Hummer EV camper truck concept in late summer (Northern Hemisphere) of this year. Assuming they're building out a physical concept and not just doing a virtual reveal, that timeframe lines up well for a possible Overland Expo Mountain West (Colorado) debut.
EarthCruiser is a longstanding regular at the Overland Expo series, and GMC has recently developed a strong relationship with the show. At the Mountain West expo in 2021, GMC debuted the Canyon AT4 OverlandX build and showed the Hummer EV Pickup. At Overland Expo West 2022 in Arizona, it was a major partner behind the show's own Ultimate Overland Vehicle, an all-out adventure camping truck that Overland Expo organizers built atop the 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X. An all-electric Hummer EarthCruiser would be one of the few ways it could top itself during this year's show season.
Source: EarthCruiser and GMC
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