GM brought encouraging news to the U.S. electric vehicle industry Tuesday: The company plans to become the first major U.S automaker to manufacture its own electric motors. So why should we care?
Tom Stephens, GM’s vice chairman of Global Product Operations, said in a statement, “In the future, electric motors might become as important to GM as
engines are now. By designing and manufacturing electric motors in-house, we can more efficiently use energy from batteries as they evolve, potentially reducing cost and weight–two significant challenges facing batteries today.” That pretty much sums it up. By manufacturing its own motors, GM can ensure quality control and bring new jobs to the parched auto industry thanks to a new $246 million factory.
GM is still farming out the motor for the Chevy Volt, however. The first application of the in-house electric motors will be in two next-generation hybrids scheduled to be released in 2013.