Despite some, um, challenges with the Chevy Bolt’s batteries, General Motors is moving full-steam ahead with its development of new electric vehicle technologies. At a recent conference in Michigan, GM President Mark Reuss announced three new electric motors that will power Ultium EVs going forward.
The automaker developed a 180-kW front-drive motor, a 255-kW rear- and front-drive motor, and a 62-kW all-wheel drive motor. The motors were calibrated in-house for optimal performance, and share a design framework, which will simplify manufacturing processes.
GM says that the 180- and 255-kW motors were designed with an eye on reducing the use of heavy rare earth materials, and notes that the trio will be able to support a wide variety of vehicles, including performance cars and work trucks. To reduce cost and complexity, the new motors integrate components such as the power module and onboard charging module.
All three motors were designed by GM and can be implemented in vehicles up to three at a time. The 2022 GMC Hummer EV will get three of the 255-kW motors, combining to produce an estimated 1,000 horsepower.
GM is also behind the software that controls those motors. The automaker’s team of engineers used artificial intelligence and machine learning to map the most efficient ways to distributed torque when a three-motor system is implemented. The developments give vehicles such as the upcoming Hummer EV the ability to handle gnarly terrain off-road while remaining manageable on-road. The software is also behind the Hummer’s extreme acceleration capabilities.