GM to build electric motors for hybrids, EVs, in Baltimore

Image: GM emotor Rotor and Stator.jpg
Permanent-magnet traction motor main components (stator at left, and rotor) of the type GM will produce in-house for the MY2014 Two Mode hybrid transmission.

GM has announced plans to build its own electric drive motors for future hybrid and electric vehicles, making it the first major U.S. automaker to claim in-house design, engineering, and manufacturing of this key technology.

The announcement was made January 26 by Tom Stephens, GM Vice Chairman of Global Product Operations, at the company’s Baltimore transmission plant in White Marsh, MD, where the electric motors will be produced. Maryland’s U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, state governor Martin O’Malley, and various federal, state, and local officials attended the plant announcement.

The Baltimore plant currently builds the Two Mode hybrid transmission originally developed by GM’s former Allison division and currently used in hybrid-electric SUVs and pickups made by GM, BMW, and Mercedes. The new permanent-magnet motors’ first application will be in the next generation of the Two Mode hybrid transmission, slated to launch in CY2013, to support 2014 vehicle models.

Stephens compared the importance of GM making its own electric-drive motors for future hybrid and electric vehicles to producing its own internal-combustion engines for today’s conventional cars and trucks. He said that by designing and manufacturing electric motors in-house, GM “can more efficiently use energy from batteries as they evolve, potentially reducing cost and weight – two significant challenges facing batteries today.”

GM since 2003 has been developing its new electric motors at various R&D facilities in Michigan, Indiana, and California. Tooling for the Baltimore plant’s electric-motor line will be covered primarily by a $105 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Total investment in the e-motor program to date is $246 million.

HTML for Linking to Page
Page URL
Rate It
4.80 Avg. Rating

Read More Articles On

At the recent 2014 L.A. Auto Show, various OEMs put their latest hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicles on stage. Engineers developing FCEVs are working against overlapping regulatory clocks, and OEM collaborations are taking the some of the sting out of development time and costs.
Volkswagen Group is on a technology blitz aimed at increasing overall vehicle efficiency. The IR-resistant dashboard materials and the 10-speed DSG transmission are in the production pipeline along with other innovations.
For the third time in a little more than a year, Toyota has announced an expansion of its Southeast Michigan R&D campuses. The most recent announcement involves an investment of $126 million for the expansion of powertrain operations at its Ann Arbor campus and the consolidation of vehicle development operations at a new facility on its York Township facility.
Oerlikon Graziano is demonstrating a new hybrid transmission that integrates a 120-kW electric motor within the same space as a conventional transmission.

Related Items

Technical Paper / Journal Article
Training / Education
Training / Education