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Thread: GM to Build its Own Electric Motors for Hybrids

  1. #1
    Havakasha is offline
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    GM to Build its Own Electric Motors for Hybrids

    I quess they think they understand the technology (LOL) and the need to develop it for themselves. I dont think we have to wait another 20 years.
    Last edited by Havakasha; 01-26-2010 at 02:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Havakasha is offline
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    According to John hybrids "wont be technologically viable for 20 years".

    Imagine if he ran a car company. LOL.

  3. #3
    Guest arnoldclab's Avatar
    GM to Build Its Own Electric Motors
    General Motors is stepping decisively into the future with the announcement that it will design and build its own electric motors within two years.
    The automaker plans to invest $246 million in a factory that will start producing motors in 2013. GM says the move will ensure it keeps abreast of advancements in technology and delivers the highest quality at the lowest cost. With the Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric vehicle coming this year and its next-gen two-mode hybrid vehicles slated for 2013, GM says it must make batteries, motors and the related electronic systems “core technologies.”
    “In the future, electric motors might become as important to GM as engines are now,” said Tom Stephens, vice chairman of global product operations. “Our goal is simply to establish GM as a leader in automotive electric motors. We see that leadership as a key enabler — both to our long-term success and to our nation’s move away from oil.”
    By placing so big a bet on hybrid and electric technology, GM is staking its claim in an emerging segment that could by some estimates comprise 20 percent of the market within 20 years. Most major automakers are developing hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles, but by and large they’re using similar — if not identical — drivetrain components from a relatively small number of suppliers. By designing and building its own batteries, motors and related components, GM hopes to set itself apart from the competition.
    “Powertrain systems are where automakers have always differentiated themselves,” said Aaron Bragman, an industry analyst with IHS Global Insight. “Honda makes great engines, General Motors makes great transmissions, Subaru does great turbocharging. Those kinds of specialties are irrelevant in an electric car. But motor efficiency, battery efficiency, thermal control, all of these things are specific to electric vehicles and hybrids. That has to be brought in-house if there’s to be any real differentiation between, say, a GM and a Ford and a Honda.”
    Bringing battery and motor production in-house also buys GM a measure of security. Because automakers are using components from a relatively small number of suppliers, they can’t be sure a supplier isn’t playing favorites with another company — or another company isn’t placing limitations on what the supplier can sell others, Bragman said.
    “Having that intimate knowledge of how electric drivetrain systems work means GM isn’t beholden to an outside supplier that might be serving other customers or might be bought by a competitor,” he said.
    Stephens alluded to that point when he said, “When I grew up on a farm, I learned that if you wanted something done right, you did it yourself. You learned to be self-sufficient. The same is true here at General Motors.”
    General Motors already has electric drivetrain R&D centers in Michigan, Indiana and California. It also has spent $25 million on a battery laboratory and dropped another $43 million retooling a factory to build batteries. It will spend another $246 million — including a $105 million grant from the Department of Energy — on the motor factory. GM will announce the location later this week, but Stephens said it will be in the United States, and it will employ “a couple of hundred” people.
    General Motors also has invested $43 million in a battery factory. Photo: GM
    General Motors also has invested $43 million in a battery factory. Photo: GM
    The first motors to come off the line will go into the next-generation of GM’s two-mode hybrid system used in vehicles like the Cadillac Escalade hybrid. GM isn’t releasing any specs on the motor, but said it is 25 percent smaller than the Hitachi and Remy motors it now uses and offers 25 percent more output.
    “With the smaller packaging, we’ll be able to utilize this system in cars as well,” said Pete Savagian, engineering director of GM’s hybrid powertrain engineering division.
    So far the motors are slated only for the two-mode hybrids, not vehicles like the Volt (GM so far has not said where the Volt motor is coming from). General Motors will continue sourcing motors from other suppliers, but as it expands production of the Volt and adds other hybrids and, possibly, electric vehicles to its lineup, it will decide on a case-by-case where to get the motors.
    “Going forward, every time we have a new application for a motor, we will decide whether we want to make that motor or buy it,” Savagian said. Even if GM buys motors from outside suppliers, Savagian said, its experience building them will make it a more savvy customer.
    GM has in the past taken a lot of abuse for unceremoniously killing the pioneering EV1 electric car, but it has slowly gained the respect of EV advocates by investing heavily in the Volt. GM’s decision to build electric motors only underscores its renewed commitment to cars with cords, said Sherry Boschert, a co-founder of the advocacy group Plug In America and author of Plug-In Hybrids: The Cars That Will Change America.
    “They’re saying, ‘In case you haven’t believed us up to now, this shows we’re making a real commitment to the technology,’” she said. “This is nothing but good. As far as having more confidence that the industry is moving toward the electrification of the automobile, this is a very big step.”
    Still, Boschert is cautious because she worries GM might move too slowly into an electric future, noting that the factory slated for 2013 will produce motors only for the hybrids. “If they think they’re going to do this incrementally and use it only on hybrids, I would be disappointed,” she said.
    But GM says it remains commited to plug-ins and electric vehicles, not just gas-electric vehicles.
    “We recognize that electrification is the next evolution of the automobile,” Savagian said. “It’s where things are headed.”

  4. #4
    Havakasha is offline
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    This following quote is an example of the kind of statement that once again demonstrates Johns ignorance.

    From GM Paul Savagian the engineering director of the hybrid powertrain engineering division.

    "We recognize that electrification is the NEXT EVOLUTION of the automobile. ITS WHERE WE ARE HEADED."

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