GM enhances EV capabilities, invests $246m in electric motors

General Motors (GM) is expanding its in-house electric vehicle development capabilities by investing

This is a core technology for hybrids and electric vehicles. The investment in electric motor and electric drive manufacturing includes construction of an electric drive production facility at Baltimore Transmission plant.

According to GM, this expansion will lower costs and improve performance, quality, reliability and manufacturing ability of electric motors by controlling design, materials selection and production processes. The first electric motors are scheduled to launch in 2013 in next-generation, rear-wheel-drive two-mode hybrid technology.

The company's next-generation rear-wheel-drive two-mode hybrid system will use two motor designs and an internal combustion engine, as compared to current two-mode hybrid technology in its full size pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product operations at GM, said: "Electric motor innovation supported the first wave of automotive growth a century ago with the electric starter, which eliminated the need for a hand crank, and revolutionized automotive travel for the customer. We think the electrification of today's automobiles will be just as revolutionary and just as beneficial to our customers. Electric motors will play a huge role in that."