GM’s group of three all-new Motors that will power its Ultium-based EVs
Designed by GM, the 180-kilowatt front-drive motor, 255-kW rear- and front-drive motor and 62-kW all-wheel drive assist motor are part of Ultium Drive. All three motors were calibrated in-house to ensure the highest level of performance in Ultium-based EVs. The motors were built as a scalable family, sharing design principles as well as similar tooling and manufacturing strategies.
The 180- and 255-kW units are permanent magnet motors designed with the aim of minimizing reliance on heavy rare earth materials while the 62-kW unit is an induction motor. All are expected to offer excellent torque and power density, enabling a wide spectrum of vehicle types, from performance cars to work trucks.
As many as three electric motors can be used in one EV – variations of the 2022 GMC HUMMER EV will feature three separate 255-kW motors, yielding a GM-estimated output of 1,000 horsepower1.
The team used computer-assisted and virtual engineering to move quickly, safely and in a cost-effective manner while also improving vehicle controls. Artificial intelligence and machine learning helped determine the most efficient ways to distribute torque in three-motor systems, like in the GMC HUMMER EV, allowing the extremely off-road capable vehicle to also drive comfortably on surface streets.
The software behind GM’s EV motors can be reused in many applications, providing fast go-to-market times as well as the foundation for future EV expansion, as these motors are versatile enough to provide the power needs for a complete lineup of vehicles.
GM also designed the software of key power electronics components – like the power inverter module or inverter, which converts DC voltage from the battery to AC voltage to power the motor. The HUMMER EV’s 0-60 mph acceleration in a GM-estimated approximately three seconds – Watts to Freedom mode2 –is largely due to GM’s electric drive software expertise in addition to its key competencies in motor controls, power electronics, motor design and development.
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