GM is bringing the design and manufacture of its electric motors for hybrid and electric vehicles inhouse with an investment of $246m in manufacturing facilities, part of a wider $700m the company is putting into eight Michigan facilities for production of the Volt.
The move could have positive implications for the company’s logistics in that the GM motor, which the company has been developing for seven years, is around 25% smaller than the one in the current generation of two-mode hybrid, used in vehicles including the 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV and Silverado pickup.
The reduced size and ongoing effort to reduce cost and weight will bring substantial savings in transport cost of moving the motors, which tend to be large, heavy and expensive to ship.
The new motors will be used in a range of trucks arriving in 2013.
“By designing and manufacturing electric motors in-house, we can more efficiently use energy from batteries as they evolve, potentially reducing cost and weight: two significant challenges facing batteries today," said GM Vice Chairman Tom Stephens.
The move is part of a wider effort being made by GM to handle its own motor and battery production, with a new facility in Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant in Michigan, recently coming online for supply to Volt production at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant.