The 2022 GMC Hummer EV is one of the most polarizing pickups on the market today, boasting an all-electric powertrain, a sleek design, and the promise of off-road capability. With a spacious frunk at one end and the GMC brand’s famous MultiPro tailgate at the other, the EV should also be a pretty versatile cargo hauler. What would have made it even better, however, is the Chevy Avalanche–style midgate that appeared on early Hummer designs.
If you need a history lesson, the 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche was an SUV-turned-pickup based on the Suburban, with plenty of space for up to six people in two rows – when the rear seat was up, that is. But for hauling longer cargo, the cabin’s rear bulkhead (called a midgate) could fold down with the rear seat, extending the 5-foot, 2-inch bed to more than 8 feet. The solution made one- or two-passenger lumber runs a cinch without sacrificing rear-seat passenger room on road trips or in daily driving. Appearing in both generations of the Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT, the midgate also showed up in the GMC Envoy XUV and Hummer H2 SUT.
According to reporting at Muscle Cars & Trucks, the 2022 GMC Hummer EV was originally slated to get a similar midgate design that would extend its rather short 5-foot bed, just like its H2 SUT forebear. Paired with that aforementioned MultiPro tailgate, a midgate would have given the EV secured hauling space for items measuring more than 8 feet long. MC&T spoke with John Mack, the exterior designer of the new Hummer, about the reasoning behind leaving the clever midgate out of the final design.
“We opted for the functionality of the drop glass in the back,” said Mack, referring to the power backlight window that retracts into the rear bulkhead. “With the package layout and things like that, it was not advantageous to pursue [the midgate]. And the 5-foot bed was kind of the industry standard in regards to price of entry in that segment.”
We’re not 100 percent sure we see where Mack is coming from. The Avalanche boasted a spacious rear cabin, and although the seats were somewhat slim to allow for the midgate to lie flat when folded down, they were still reasonably comfortable. And commendably, the old Chevy’s folding bulkhead was weather-proof and rattle-free when latched up tight.
For the GMC Hummer EV, we think cost and manufacturing complexity may have been the primary motivator for ditching a midgate redux. The Hummer is already a pricey proposition, starting at $112,595 for the already-sold-out Edition 1 launch truck. Within a few years, cheaper Hummer EVs will arrive, but the least expensive model will still cost $79,995 to start. A feature that not too many Avalanche owners (and likely even fewer Hummer owners) would use was probably an easy chicken to send to the chopping block.