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GM shows 85 kW permanent magnet EV motor


October 31, 2011

GM's new permanent magnet EV motor

GM's new permanent magnet EV motor

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General Motors will become the first American automotive manufacturer to build its own electric motors when production begins in White Marsh, Md., in late 2012. In promoting this capability, GM has released details of the first motor to be built there, the 85 kW (114 hp) permanent magnet motor to be used in the 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV.

Currently, GM uses electric motors as part of the propulsion system in nine vehicles including the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Malibu Eco, Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, Buick Lacrosse eAssist, Buick Regal eAssist, GMC Sierra Hybrid, GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali Hybrid, and Cadillac Escalade Hybrid.

GM is focused on the development of permanent magnet and induction motors for a variety of applications, and the White Marsh facility will produce such motors for the Spark and other, as-yet-unnamed future vehicles.


@Alan: hmmmmmm a 450 hp Chevrolet Spark. That\'s doesn\'t sound right ;-)

Joris van den Heuvel

Let\'s see...one of those for each wheel...turbine genny... Giddy up!

Alan Belardinelli

Why not make the wheel rims a dynamo? Have magnets built into the wheel well and was the tire turns, it generates electricity, to keep the batteries charged up or have a wind turbine built in to the roof?

Robert Burke

And when it hit 88mph........whoooshka

Denis Klanac

If you put magnets in the wheel rims to turn them into generators you will waste power trying to turn them. Generators create electricity by converting kinetic energy. Electric motors generate kinetic energy by expending electricity. All you\'d be doing is using an electric motor to turn an electric generator and you\'d lose power to the various inefficiencies in the system. More or less the same with putting a wind turbine on the roof. You could deploy the wind turbine while you are parked, but if you rely on the car\'s forward movement to turn the turbine you\'d be drawing power from the electric motor once more and your car would look funny.


@ Robert Bourke - the reason why wheels are made as light as possible - is because UNSPRUNG mass is a horrible thing.

a) It uses up enormous amounts of power running weight up and down over bumps and dips - via the suspension.

b) It creates a kind of disproportionate run away effect - bigger wheel weights, stronger heavier tyres, heavier stronger suspension - bigger engine / engine output to keep the vehicle going at the same speed.

If all the roads of the world were one big flat glass table top - great idea.

Regular to bad roads - not so much.

Try this out.... get a motorbike - remove the rear disk brake and bolt on the same disk size - piece of steel but 30mm thick and see the difference - or fill the drum housing with lead.

Then take it for a ride on a regular road.....

Not good.

Mr Stiffy

good idea.. GO GM .. BUY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS and support your local small business

Jay Finke

I think that cars should be made lighter and more aerodynamic without regard to increasing the power of the electric motor powering it. The more powerful the motor, the greater the draw on the battery and the less time the battery will be useable. I know that better batteries are on the way but it is comparitively easy to improve aerodynamics while waiting,

Adrian Akau

Permanent Magnet motors? I thought that the point of fuel efficient cars were to free us from the whims of OPEC. But magnet dependencies enslave us to the whims of the Chinese, the OPEC of the rare earths.

A smarter way would be to use multi-phasic motors that are permanent magnet free. Has GM never heard of Chorus Motors? Or are they simply accustomed to making bad decisions?

Bruce Greene

I am expecting the ICE engine to suffer a quick death due to a new pollutant. 2013 is my guess

Stewart Mitchell

Interesting magnet arrangement. It looks like they are using the angled arrangement to steer the flux. Then it appears to have different rings of these magnets clocked at different angles. Cool.

@all: Don\'t worry; the government will regulate the ICE out of existence far before we run out of fuel.


Why is it such a big problem in building an all electric car electric cars is nothing new years ago american railway had a truck that ran allday picking up and delivering packages they were running on a pack of battries at the end of the day they charged the pack over night the teck is old not something new I guess they werent as smart as we are today

John Mazza

London milk carts, whir around the city after dark..... all electric.. its here.. (Lead acid batteries are actually pretty good and \'cheap\', just heavy (But then most batteries are not a lot lighter for the energy density and number of charging cycles.))


re; Bruce Greene

Gm went bankrupt and is now Government Motors. I think they are incapable of good decisions.


Who is going to take all those aluminum USPS delivery vehicles and give them electric propulsion? Government Motors should build what it needs.

Ross Nicholson

Mumbo Jumbo! How about building an electric 4 wheel drive (one motor per wheel) SUV, with a small "kicker" to generate electric when needed. They SHOULD be able to produce one that "has it all"... Performance (456 hp) when needed (all 4 electric motors working @ 114 hp ea), comfort (thus the SUV), and with the right management, it should get well over 50 MPG of fuel used to produce electric... WELL OVER. It would be a BIG SELLER...


Chorus Motors are not a NEW type of electric motors. They're just a modified version of induction machines and generally all kinds of induction motors have efficiency of about 75% which in the Permanent-Magnets type is usually around 85% or more. But the main reason for using Permanent-Magnets is the easy implementation of Regenerative Braking in this types. Regenerative Braking is when you are reducing your speed but instead of wasting your kinetic power in braking disks by friction, restoring it in a super-capacitor and then slowly feed it to the main power source which in these cars are Battery stack.

The only problem of not having a super sport car or a SUV one is not the drive train, is a reliable high density power source.

I assume that everybody knows that the efficiency rage of combustion engines is about 21-42% so having a combustion engines with output power of 465 hp, in the best case we are wasting 58% of the energy stored in the fuel which is a huge amount so its not the best way of making propulsion force thus the legislates are not a big fan of HEVs.

Shahram B
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