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GM is first US car-maker to build its own motors

17 April, 2013

General Motors has become the first US car-maker to manufacture electric motors and drives for electric vehicles in America. Until now, it has mostly relied on imported motors to power its EVs.

GM engineers have designed and developed the permanent magnet motors and drives for the new Chevrolet Spark EV which goes on sale later this year. They have focussed on making the 100kW motors efficient and reliable. The motors will produce 540Nm of torque and produce an acceleration from 0–60 mph in less than 8 seconds. They are said to use “a unique design” to deliver power precisely.

“Electric motor development and manufacturing is a critical area of expertise that GM has mastered as we grow our portfolio of electric vehicles to address the needs of our global customer,” says Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of vehicle electrification engineering.

After refining its expertise in electric motors at a pilot facility in Michigan, production of electric motors started recently at a plant in White Marsh, Maryland.

“The era of using electricity to help improve performance and fuel economy is already here and the trend is only going to grow,” says Mike Robinson, GM’s vice-president of sustainability. “Today is further proof GM is leading in the development of electric vehicles that will improve America’s energy security.”

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