GM’s Ultium motors will power its next-generation EVs

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GM reveals the Ultium motors that are key to its all-electric shift


General Motors

GM, the company known for Corvettes and pickups, has embraced EVs as much as any US automaker. It already revealed plans for its Ultium batteries and now, ahead of the 2020 Bolt EV launch, is showing off its Ultium electric motors and drive units for its next-generation of electric cars and trucks.

While a bit less exciting than batteries in terms of pure technology, efficient and powerful motors are key to EV success. For instance, Tesla’s 97-percent efficient permanent magnet reluctance (PMR) motors are one of the big reasons for its industry-leading EV range figures.

For its part, GM said that its five Ultium Drive motors (packaged with single-speed transmissions) will make EVs lighter and more efficient. That’s because the power electronics are built into the drive assemblies, reducing their mass by half while increasing capability. That also makes it easier to scale the Ultium motors and batteries to high output vehicles like pickup trucks and performance EVs.

The company will develop the motors alongside its next-gen EVs in order to keep everything in-house. Future vehicles using the tech could include Cadillac’s’ freshly announced Lyriq luxury SUV, the Hummer EV coming next month, the next-gen Bolt EV (delayed until next year) and the crossover Bolt EUV coming in summer 2021.

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