Here is what your future truck motor from GM will look like.
General Motors’ coming EVs will be powered by a family of five interchangeable drive units and three motors, known collectively as “Ultium Drive.” Ultium Drive will help GM transition its current product line to a fully electric lineup, providing significant advantages over GM’s previous EVs in performance, scale, speed to market, and manufacturing efficiencies.
GM’s Ultium Drive combines electric motors and single-speed transmissions to apply drive power – generated by Ultium battery cells – to the wheels of GM’s upcoming electric vehicles.
GM says that Ultium Drive will be more responsive than its internal combustion equivalents with precision torque control of its motors for smooth performance. Having driven dozens of modern EVs, the GM-Trucks.com staff can personally attest to the benefits of electric drive. The instant torque, and linear feel of the power delivery is addictive. As is the case now with GM’s engines, Ultium Drive units are expected to offer industry-leading torque and power density across a wide spectrum of different vehicle types.
“GM has built transmissions for many notable automakers,” said Ken Morris, GM vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs. “Making motors, transmissions, driveline components and systems are among GM’s best-known competencies, and our manufacturing expertise is proving not only transferable but advantageous as we make the transition to EVs.”
Like with any type of vehicle, progress continues to move forward with EV drives. GM’s newest drive units reduced the mass of the power electronics by 50%, cost less, and take up less space than the prior generation.
GM’s three electric motors and five drive unit combinations will power front, rear, or all-wheel drive vehicles. “As with other propulsion systems that are complex, capital intensive and contain a great deal of intellectual property, we’re always better off making them ourselves,” said Adam Kwiatkowski, GM executive chief engineer, Global Electrical Propulsion. “GM’s full lineup of EVs should benefit from the simultaneous engineering of Ultium Drive. Our commitment to increased vertical integration is expected to bring additional cost efficiency to the performance equation.”
GM says that the Ultium Drive components, including castings, gears and assemblies, will be built with globally sourced parts at GM’s existing global propulsion facilities on shared, flexible assembly lines, allowing the company to more quickly ramp up its EV production, achieve economies of scale and adjust its production mix to match market demand.