General Motors is investing heavily in all-electric future, vying to achieve the top spot in electric vehicle market share in North America. To that end, GM has just unveiled its new Ultium Drive motor technology.
During the ongoing 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference, GM President Mark Reuss introduced three new all-electric Ultium Drive motors intended for use in General Motors’ Ultium-based models. The three motors include a 180-kW front-drive motor, a 255-kW rear- and front-drive motors, and a 62-kW all-wheel drive assist motor. The 62-kW unit is an induction motor, while the 180-kW and 255-kW units are permanent magnet motors designed to minimize reliance on heavy rare earth materials.
“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,” Reuss said during the debut. “Our vertical integration in this space, encompassing both hardware and software, helps give us control over our own destiny and a significant competitive advantage.”
The motors were conceived as part of a scalable family, sharing similar design principles, tooling, and manufacturing strategies, thus reducing the number of parts involved in bringing the new Ultium Drive motors to market. The three motors will be used in myriad applications, from work trucks to performance vehicles.
In addition to revealing the three new Ultium Drive electric motors, General Motors also discussed new software used to run the hardware. GM engineers based out of GM’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, Global Propulsion Systems in Pontiac, Michigan, and the Milford Proving Ground collaborated with nearly 11,000 GM product development team members in developing the new Ultium Drive software, using computer-assisted and virtual engineering as part of the development process.
General Motors states that the new software can be reused in numerous applications, providing quick go-to-market times and expansion of GM’s EV portfolio. GM also anticipates that some of the electronics will have half the mass and volume of current equivalents, and as much as 25 percent more capability.
The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will be the first General Motors vehicle to debut the new Ultium Drive motors and integrated power electronics, with the range-topping Edition 1 equipped with three separate 255-kW motors to produce upwards of 1,000 horsepower.