General Motors' upcoming generation of electric vehicles, powered by a new Ultium Drive three-motor system, will be designed in-house and will include integrated power electronics to reduce costs and manufacturing complexity while reducing mass and volume, GM said Tuesday.
"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," President Mark Reuss said in a statement. "Our vertical integration in this space, encompassing both hardware and software, helps give us control over our own destiny and a significant competitive advantage."
Reuss shared details on the motors at the 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber. GM announced plans for Ultium Drive, a family of five interchangeable drive units and three motors, last year.
The Ultium motors include a 180-kilowatt front-drive motor, 255-kW rear- and front-drive motor and 62-kW all-wheel-drive assist motor. Each was calibrated in-house and built as a scalable group, sharing design principles and tooling and manufacturing strategies, GM said.
The 62-kW version is an induction motor, and the two other units are permanent magnetic motors designed to minimize reliance on heavy rare earth materials. Three electric motors can be used in one EV, and all of the motors can be applied to a variety of vehicle segments, including sedans, performance cars and work trucks, GM said.
Variations of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup will have three separate 255-kW motors, for a GM-estimated output of 1,000 hp.
The inverter and other power electronics on Ultium-powered vehicles, such as the accessory power module and on-board charging module, will be integrated into Ultium Drive units, rather than outside of drive units like today's EVs. The integration will reduce cost and manufacturing complexity, GM said.
Some power electronics will have half the mass and volumes of today's GM equivalents, with as much as 25 percent more capability.
The new motors and integrated power electronics will launch on the 2022 GMC Hummer EV pickup this year.