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He’s back: Arnie unveils first electric Hummer

Arnold Schwarzenegger in front of the world's first electrified Hummer H1 at the opening of the Kreisel Electric high-tech research and development center (Copyright: Martin Hesz / Kreisel Electric) (PRNewsfoto/Kreisel Electric)

Kreisel Electric creates 100kWh Hummer H1 for fellow Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger

The man who brought us the Hummer is now helping to clean up its act.

Last week Austrian-born film star Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the opening of a new research and development centre by battery pioneer Kreisel Electric, a company which has continued to make waves in the automotive world thanks to a proprietary battery architecture with exceptional energy density. The company claims its packs are up to 30% lighter than rival solutions, with lower production costs.

CEO Markus Kreisel opened the centre, located in Reinbach, in the company of fellow Austrians including Federal Chancellor Christian Kern and Arnie himself, whose presence appeared to be the perfect opportunity to introduce its latest conversion project: the world’s first all-electric Hummer H1.

The bespoke conversion follows a similar project earlier this year, in which Kreisel also modified the former California governor’s Mercedes G-Class into a battery EV. The collaboration has evidently sparked an on-going relationship with Kreisel, with attention now turning to Hummer H1, the model based on the military-designed Humvee vehicle that Schwarzenegger helped commercialise and popularise in the late 90s.

The Hummer is equipped with 100kWh of Kreisel batteries, and two electric motors on the front and back axles, with a total system output of 360 kW. This will carry the vehicle at speeds of up to 120 km/h and a total a range of about 300 kilometres (186 miles) and a total weight of 3,300 kg.

For comparison, the standard ICE vehicle consumes up to 24 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres and emits up to 470g CO2 per kilometre.

Even more impressively, the entire system was designed and built in just two months.

Markus Kreisel stated: “With our electrified prototypes, we want to show what is possible using Kreisel technology. We will certainly not mass-produce these models. But our Hummer is a powerhouse in wolf’s clothing, one that drives so quietly even the sheep are not disturbed”


Schwarzenegger added: “Kreisel Electric electrified my G-class last winter. And now a Hummer. If Kreisel keeps it up at this pace, I will soon be able to fly here from LA in an electric airplane.”

Although almost certainly a figure of speech, that date could be closer than one might think. Kreisel has already supplied batteries for the electric plane Elektra One, as well as the bid to launch a solar-powered flight to the edge of space by SolarStratos.

Kreisel Electric has also equipped its EVEX Porsche 910 model with a 360-kW electric motor and a battery capacity of 53 kWh. These features, coupled with the company’s own automatic 2-gear transmission, allow for 0-to-100 km/h acceleration in 2.5 seconds and a maximum speed of more than 300 km/h, it said.

Projects like the Hummer and G-Class conversion are still far from the norm, and both will have required serious capital to undertake. However, they serve as valuable demonstrators for the message that electric transport is possible –enough to convince even the hardiest of action stars. If Arnie and his partners are to be believed, it may not be too long before we say “Hasta la vista, ICEs.”


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