GM shows motors for future EV series

September 23, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
GM shows motors for future EV series
At its 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference, General Motors has shown three all-new electric motors that will power the company’s Ultium-based EVs.

Designed in-house by GM, the 180-kilowatt front-drive motor, 255-kW rear- and front-drive motor and 62-kW all-wheel drive assist motor are part of Ultium Drive. All three motors were calibrated to ensure the desired level of performance in Ultium-based EVs. The motors were built as a scalable family, sharing design principles as well as similar tooling and manufacturing strategies. 

The 180- and 255-kW units are permanent magnet motors designed with the aim of minimizing reliance on heavy rare earth materials while the 62-kW unit is an induction motor. All are expected to offer the high torque and power density level necessary to enable a wide spectrum of vehicle types, from performance cars to work trucks.

As many as three electric motors can be used in one EV – variations of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV will feature three separate 255-kW motors, yielding a GM-estimated output of 1,000 horsepower.

"Twenty years of electric drive system development and more than 100 years of high-volume vehicle engineering are helping GM pivot quickly from conventional vehicles to EVs,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss at the conference. "Our vertical integration in this space, encompassing both hardware and software, helps give us control over our own destiny and a significant competitive advantage."

GM engineers have also developed the software for Ultium Drive’s motor controllers, which is key to serving the propulsion needs of various vehicle types with a minimal set of components. These engineers, based at GM’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, Global Propulsion Systems in Pontiac, Michigan; and Milford Proving Ground, are part of the nearly 11,000 GM product development team members currently working in software development. This number is projected to grow with software serving as a critical pillar of GM’s vision of an all-electric future.

The team used computer-assisted and virtual engineering to move quickly and in a cost-effective manner while


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