General Motors Unveils All-New Electric Motors for Future Ultium Platform-Based EVs

GM electric motors for Ultium Platform vehicles 6 photos
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GM electric motors for Ultium Platform vehiclesGM electric motors for Ultium Platform vehiclesGM electric motors for Ultium Platform vehiclesGM electric motors for Ultium Platform vehiclesGM electric motors for Ultium Platform vehicles
General Motors president Mark Reuss has unveiled the carmaker’s three all-new electric motors that are set to power future Ultium platform based EVs. The first is a 180-kilowatt front-drive motor, followed by a 255-kW rear and front-drive motor setup, plus a 62 kW all-wheel drive assist motor. All are part of Ultium Drive and were built as a scalable family.
The 180 and 255-kW units are permanent magnet motors built in a way that would minimize reliance on heavy rare earth minerals. Meanwhile, the 62-kW unit is an induction motor. All, however, offer excellent torque and power density, which means they can be utilized by a wide range of passenger vehicles, from performance cars to pickup trucks or SUVs.

A single EV can use as many as three electric motors. For example, some variations of the 2022 GMC Hummer EV will boast three separate 255-kW motors, for a total of about 1,000 hp.

“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,” said Reuss. “Our vertical integration in this space, encompassing both hardware and software, helps give us control over our own destiny and a significant competitive advantage.”

GM has also developed software for Ultium Drive’s motor controllers, with engineers using computer-assisted and virtual engineering to move “quickly, safely and in a cost-effective manner,” while also improving vehicle controls.

Machine learning was used in order to determine the most efficient ways to distribute torque in the three-motor systems, such as the one in the previously mentioned GMC Hummer EV.

The carmaker also designed the software of key power electronics components, such as the power inverter module. In fact, the Hummer EV’s spectacular 0-60 mph acceleration time (estimated to be approximately 3 seconds) is largely due to GM’s electric drive software expertise.

As for packaging, current GM EVs feature the inverter and other power electronics, like the accessory power module and onboard charging module, outside the actual drive units. However, in Ultium-based vehicles, such electronics will be integrated directly into the Ultium Drive units.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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