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GM Hummer EV Demand Overwhelms Production Capacity

GM says it has stopped taking reservations for its wildly popular and expensive Hummer EV due to limited capacity to build them.

Forget about inflation, interest rates and a possible recession: people want General Motors'  (GM) - Get Free Report new all-electric Hummer, badly. The problem is that GM can’t keep up.

The auto giant on Thursday said it has stopped taking reservations for the GMC-branded Hummer EV due to limited capacity to build them.

"We're excited to say this incredible demand has led to Hummer EV reservations being fully booked at this time," GM said in a statement Thursday.

It is yet another sign of strong demand for vehicles of any size and type -- even a 9,000-plus-pound beast like the Hummer -- that use the electric grid and rechargeable batteries to move rather than gasoline and an internal combustion engine.

And the numbers prove it: Electric vehicle sales are on course to hit an all-time high this year, according to the International Energy Agency’s annual Tracking Clean Energy Progress update released on Thursday.

The Paris-based organization said it expects EVs to account for 13% of total light duty vehicle sales globally in 2022, though it cautioned that “stronger efforts” are required to put the world “on track to reach net zero emissions” by 2050.

Whether to help the environment or to feel the power of a massive four-wheel-drive being jolted forward from zero to 60 mph in less than three seconds, the Chevrolet Hummer is proving to be something consumers want.

The problem for GM, like other manufacturers, is keeping up production. Between January and June, GM delivered fewer than 400 of the pickup version of the Hummer. 

That problem stems from several compounding issues: ongoing supply chain problems that have stalled the production and movement of critical components like microchips, which has affected all automakers, but more importantly a shortage of the lithium batteries needed to power the vehicles.

Ford  (F) - Get Free Report stopped taking reservations for its all-electric F-150 Lightning when its order backlog reached 200,000 at the end of 2021. Deliveries of the electric pickup began in May and the company is working to increase production, though as of the end of August only 6,800 vehicles had been delivered.

And even Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report, the world's largest EV maker, has reported it had only a four-day supply of inventory as of the end of June. 

Virtually all of the traditional carmakers have announced massive investments to build EV battery plants, typically with a battery maker as a joint venture partner, though those efforts are still years away from coming online.

You Can Get a Hummer EV Now -- for a Premium

And that's where GM faces a problem with the Hummer. It currently has reservations for about 45,000 of the pickups and about 45,000 of the SUV version. While it has promised to begin delivering the vehicles next spring, it has not confirmed how long it will take to get all 90,000 pre-ordered Hummers on its list onto eager customers' driveways.

A Hummer EV is not cheap. The different trim offerings give it starting prices of between $84,650 and $104,650. And that's for one that is ordered through GM directly: A quick search online shows some lucky owners of the EVs offering to part with their coveted machines for triple the price.

A white Hummer EV Pickup edition with 100 miles on the odometer and a window sticker price of $114,290 is currently on offer on aftermarket car-selling website Cars & Bids for $150,000

The Hummer, a civilian version of the M998 Humvee, was first marketed in 1992 and quickly became an environmentalist's nightmare due its gas-guzzling ways. The brand was discontinued in 2010.

For those who want something smaller and less expensive, GM also has a car for you: the Chevrolet Equinox, which will go on sale in 2024 with a starting sticker price of $30,000.