Oct 28

GM shows off electric motors for Spark EV and more

 

GM is drumming up interest for its American-manufactured automotive electric motors including the powerful permanent magnet design for the pending 2013 Spark EV.

The advantages offered by electrification will be incorporated into a number of vehicles, GM said, and the Spark EV with a motor built in White Marsh, Md. will help showcase how potent EV power can be by offering 37-percent more horsepower than the internal-combustion version.

The Korean-made, gasoline-powered 2013 Spark will make use of a tiny 1.2-liter four-cylinder with 83 horsepower and approximately 80 pound-feet of torque. In contrast, the electric car will kick out 85 kilowatts (114 horsepower) and instant torque – GM is not divulging the torque figure, but it is sure to be sufficient.

GM has said its first battery electric car since the EV1 really scoots, and is presently validating and testing equipment and processes at its Wixom, Mich. facility that will be used at White Marsh when production begins in late 2012.

The company’s announcement of domestic motor assembly is in line with its push toward in-sourcing from its U.S. plants instead of only outsourcing as some observers have otherwise decried of American manufacturing trends.

“We’ve spent the past few years highlighting our in-house battery capability, which will play a significant role as one of our core competencies going forward,” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Vehicle Electrification Engineering. “Electric motor development and manufacturing is another area of expertise we’ll need as we expand vehicle electrification technologies to address the needs of our customers around the world.”

This news about the motor also adds credibility to the speculation that the limited-production Spark EV could be at least partially assembled in the U.S.

Already known is the Spark EV’s Michigan-made A123 batteries will be mated to the White Marsh-produced motors.

So, would it make sense for GM to build electric powertrain components in the U.S., then ship them to Korea only to re-import the vehicle back to America? Keep in mind also that refrigerated shipping of batteries which are considered hazardous materials is anything but inexpensive.

While the company is yet holding out on this question, it did recently invite members of the media to tour its Wixom facility to see how progress is going with development of permanent magnet and induction motors.

These will be used for more than just traction motors, as conventionally powered vehicles require a variety of electric motors to power seats, windows, windshield washers and other uses.

But motors for propulsion will also be part of the mix. While sharing a bit more about the Spark, GM said “other future vehicles” will be equipped with White Marsh traction motors.

One could surmise these will be for plug-in vehicles, but GM also noted that it uses electric motors as part of the propulsion system in nine of its vehicles.

GM vehicles using electricity as go-power are: 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

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Web Chat Today

The Chevrolet Volt team will be hosting another Web chat at 3 p.m. EDT. Lindsay Brooke, senior editor for the SAE’s Automotive Engineering International magazine and GM’s Chief Engineer for Electric Motors Pete Savagian will answer questions about the Volt and electric vehicles.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 61


  1. 1
    pjkPA

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:22 am)

    Why not just put all this in the Chevy Cruze Eco?
    That would be a much more appealling vehicle… but I’m still waiting for a CUV Voltec.


  2. 2
    Bonaire

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:31 am)

    First step will be Cruze Diesel. Lately, stories out are that it will be roughly 50mpg. I hope they can mate the diesel into the Volt as well. A Cruze with battery-only should be doable – maybe they will just add that a year or two after the Diesel?


  3. 3
    Sean

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:35 am)

    Way to go GM! Those videos were very interesting. Also GM if your going to sale this vehicle to the public I think you should either use these videos or state of the art computer tech to demonstrate how the Spark’s electric motor works and performs. Plus GM you should also educate the public as well of how torque has advantages over horse power as in take for example if you told the public that an electric car can out speed a conventional gas car and by proving them wrong on a demonstration video by out racing the gas car for a short period of time than maybe they won’t think of electrics as dumb go karts as they all think of in there heads when it comes to these types of vehicles. Last but not least I think all BEV’S, EREV’S, and PHEV’S, or any other future types of vehicles should have demonstration videos of how they work, perform, extra features, how much range they have, how fast you can charge the vehicle, and safety features as well when it comes to these types of vehicles in the future GM. The Future Is Electric!


  4. 4
    Roy_H

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:51 am)

    pjkPA: Why not just put all this in the Chevy Cruze Eco?

    They did, that’s what the Volt is. Somehow people think that electrification should be free, and they think that all the extra cost of the Volt must be in the leather seats and On-Star navigation system.


  5. 5
    Roy_H

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (8:14 am)

    GM must be really confident in their patents. I am really surprised at the detail in the construction of their permanent magnet motor for the Spark. Other manufacturers are still under the illusion that electric motors are a commodity product, and there is little that can be done to improve them. As they build electric cars, they find out that the electric motor can be very large and heavy for the amount of power output (prime example is BYD, but also to a lesser extent, Fisker). Gear heads will come to argue the merits of various electric motors just like they do now about cam profiles, fuel injection methods, variable valve timing, headers, Atkinson cycle etc.


  6. 6
    Bonaire

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (8:22 am)

    Roy,
    The electric motor “gearheadedness” is really big in the RC car and plane community. All sorts of motor sizing to application, standards for sanctioned racing and so on. Though, I doubt we will be able to easily switch out OEM EV motors or tune them much in our full sized cars – there may come a day when aftermarket motors and speed control “mods” could be possible. As we know, the Volt’s profiles are modified through D,L Sport/Normal, Mountain Mode and other options.

    Some home-conversion EV drivers even build their own speed controls from scratch – that’s where you can control how they work. My interest in EVs originated in my son and I participating in RC car racing since late 2007 which was the time the RC folks just started using Lithium batteries to replace NiMH – just like the transition for EVs in those years. Now, LiPO batteries for RCs are cheap and plentiful. Prices came down by a factor of 4 since the initial days and they perform better.


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    kdawg

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (9:22 am)

    Roy_H: Gear heads will come to argue the merits of various electric motors just like they do now about cam profiles, fuel injection methods, variable valve timing, headers, Atkinson cycle etc.

    What the flux! ;-)

    In the EE world, there are a lot of discussions like this already happening. It will be fun when it’s mainstream.

    I wouldnt worry about the patents too much. Those are nice videos, but nothing that isn’t already known. Without the 3D models, dimensional data, specifics on the manufacturing process, and the motor control software.. it would be difficult to re-engineer.


  8. 8
    Bonaire

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (9:27 am)

    The cool this is for electric motors, you can do a lot of changes of performance through software. While in an ICE, you need to machine cams, polish intake manifolds, mess with fuel mix, exhaust ports and so on. Electric motor tuning can become boring and less manual-labor intensive than ICE engine tweaking. Also, far less costly. I don’t know if it makes it more “nerdy” but it sure can make tuning easier than busting out the power tools.

    The harder part of tuning OEM software is getting access “to” that software through open interfaces.

    Here’s one example of an EV gearhead in action:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXOX0mp-1Po


  9. 9
    Raymondjram

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:00 am)

    Those old fashioned ICE gearheads cannot forget that there are many electrical motors and solenoids (which are electrical motors in a way) that assist the modern gas engine and perform many functions that were mechanical before (or didn’t exist). In that group there are:

    Fuel pump
    Coolant pump
    Coolant fan
    Oil pump
    Supercharger
    Idle control
    Fuel injection
    Power steering
    Transmission shift control

    And last but actually the first: Engine starter.

    This list doesn’t cover the other electrical motors and solenoids that affect driver comfort and security (over twenty others). In all the vehicles I have own and driven since 1972, the starter was the only motor that failed more than once (three times in my 1980 Ford Mustang), and only four other motors have failed in my GM vehicles (fuel pump, washer pump, A/C fan, and window motor), which I repaired myself.

    GM is a leader in electrical motors for many years, and they developed the Magnequench motors that drove their Sunraycer to a win in 1988.
    http://history.gmheritagecenter.com/wiki/index.php/GM_Sunraycer
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunraycer

    Now we are seeing the results in the Chevy Volt and their many BEV projects.

    Go GM!

    Raymond


  10. 10
    kdawg

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:00 am)

    I will try to make the web-chat today, but I’m wrapping up a bunch of stuff before heading to New Orleans for 4 days. Here’s my questions in case I miss it and anyone else feel free to ask these.

    1) Are there any plans to change the voltage of the motors?
    2) Are there any plans to increase the efficiency of the motor at high RPMs and eliminate the need to couple to the ICE?
    3) Is there any isues due to the availability of rare-earth materials, and permanent magnet motors? If yes, what are the GM’s plans?
    4) Any info on the size of the traction motor for Volt Gen 2 or the Cadillac ELR?

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

    HWVolt.jpg


  11. 11
    Raymondjram

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:24 am)

    Following the same tread, I ask why doesn’t GM increase the DC voltage in present vehicles to 36 volts? A higher voltage will permit lower amperage, lower wire gage (less copper) and less weight.

    Replacing the old fashioned lead-acid wet battery with a modern lithium-ion battery also reduces weight. Most components can work better with a higher voltage. Audiophiles know that higher voltages will allow more powerful amplifiers. Thirty six volts will still be safe enough to touch with bare human hands and feel no discomfort or danger across the skin.

    Then GM should use the belt-driven starter, and convert that starter to also become the generator, saving more weight by eliminating the heavy starter and using a lighter flywheel. Eventually this starter/generator will be the “eAssist” for all their models, until battery technology can replace the ICE completely.

    Raymond


  12. 12
    volt11

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:31 am)

    Halloween makeup aside, copper (like shown above) would be a great color for the Volt!


  13. 13
    Loboc

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:33 am)

    Bonaire: Electric motor tuning can become boring and less manual-labor intensive than ICE engine tweaking.

    Not really. Back in the ’80s, we were hand-winding slot-car motors (12v DC). There was a lot of interest in the new ceramic magnets as they had more power density. Heck, they were almost impossible to pry apart if they got together.

    As far as automotive, us hands-on types were heavy into alternator, generator and starter rebuilding. Later on, we were working on windmills (really big alternators).

    There are a bunch of tweaks that can be done mechanically with motors and alternators. Even regulators were mechanical back in the day before transistors.

    Admittedly, it’s a whole lot cleaner to work on electric motors.


  14. 14
    Schmeltz

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:42 am)

    Just wanted to say Bravo to GM for deciding to make these electric motors in the U.S.! That puts a smile on my face.


  15. 15
    Mark Z

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:43 am)

    GM needs to post their videos in a universal format that works with iOS. Flash content isn’t viewed by the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners. What if GM decided to stop writing apps for iOS?


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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:53 am)

    kdawg: 2) Are there any plans to increase the efficiency of the motor at high RPMs and eliminate the need to couple to the ICE?

    You can mechanically change the ‘timing’ of an electric motor which allows higher RPMs. If this is variable, you can also avoid the performance hit at low RPMs. Once you get over 10k RPMs or so, its a problem again because you get into the realm of bearing failure.

    The Volt design handily avoids the high RPM issues by using two motors. There is actually no need for an ICE as any generator (fuel cell etc) could be substituted. They would have to increase the motor HP slightly to compensate for the ICE being coupled at high power need.


  17. 17
    Loboc

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (11:04 am)

    Mark Z:
    GM needs to post their videos in a universal format that works with iOS. Flash content isn’t viewed by the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners. What if GM decided to stop writing apps for iOS?

    OR Apple needs to support Flash. Their decision to not support Adobe is draconian.


  18. 18
    Raymondjram

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (11:04 am)

    Loboc
    There are a bunch of tweaks that can be done mechanically with motors and alternators. Even regulators were mechanical back in the day before transistors.

    Admittedly, it’s a whole lot cleaner to work on electric motors.

    That is very true!

    As an EE, and a handyman, I have repaired plenty of electrical motors whenever it was possible instead of replacing them. Most electrical motors fail at the bearings, especially those exposed to moisture, or to a loss of lubrication. I have repaired many washer pumps just because the exposed part of the rotor would rust up. A little bit of fine grit sanding and some silicon lubricant fixes them up well. On larger motors (drills and saws), some grease in the bearings solves that problem. I take the opportunity to polish up the commutator contacts, too (where the brushes make contact).

    Another failures I find were open armature or stator windings, due to heat or poor manufacturing, especially where the wiring attaches to the brushes on DC motors. The next were worn brushes themselves. The only failure that I can never repair were burnt windings, since the insulation fell off and sometimes the wire was weakened to the point of uselessness, and I don’t have the equipment to rewire, so a replacement is the only solution.

    So, for anyone who would wonder what can happen to an electric motor, only mechanical failures are possible if the motor can avoid overloads with breakers or fuses, and can avoid overheating with thermal fuses. Other than that, an electric motor can last over a lifetime!

    Raymond


  19. 19
    Mark Z

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (11:28 am)

    Loboc: OR Apple needs to support Flash. Their decision to not support Adobe is draconian.

    In the meantime, GM is preventing their videos from being seen by all.

    The decision to omit Flash could be reason enough for Mr. Jobs to be experiencing an unpleasant afterlife.


  20. 20
    Jason M. Hendler

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (11:54 am)

    I bet Nikola Tesla would be very impressed with this motor – split magnets angled to vector fields with smaller magnets placed to further shape the fields. I assume their poles are facing the same direction, but their may be some advantage / necessity for them to be opposed. Then you have two layers of induction wire surrounding the rotor – further field shaping, tuning, timing …

    Seems a very simple, yet highly refined product.


  21. 21
    Noel Park

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    Schmeltz:
    Just wanted to say Bravo to GM for deciding to make these electric motors in the U.S.!That puts a smile on my face.

    #14

    Second the motion. +1


  22. 22
    BLIND GUY

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (12:06 pm)

    I think most of us would agree that better performance can make the difference between which vehicle I would want to buy. Since electric motors are already getting close to their full potential, when will someone use gearing to raise the efficiency and or performance of an electric drivetrain? I recall reading something about a 10% gain in efficiency using some kind of gearing. At some point I would think gearing would be less expensive than stronger motors or more batteries. I would think creating a peak efficiency hwy cruising gearing would help the most for range; excluding the use of HVAC, radio etc… Anyway I’m glad that it appears that GM is not going to under-power the Spark EV. It looks like Honda is going to have to sell a ZEV as well.


  23. 23
    Noel Park

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    OT, but we just returned from our first real road trip in B1567. We were able to plug in where we stayed 2 of the 4 nights. The other 2 were at a motel where they told us it would be OK to plug in to the room, but the room was too far away for my extension cord to reach, LOL.

    We averaged just a tad over 40 mpg on the “range extender”, including some city driving, and quite a bit of both freeways and winding 2 lane country roads.

    The Volt was very comfortable and a pleasure to drive under all conditions.


  24. 24
    Schmeltz

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (12:47 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: I bet Nikola Tesla would be very impressed with this motor – split magnets angled to vector fields with smaller magnets placed to further shape the fields. I assume their poles are facing the same direction, but their may be some advantage / necessity for them to be opposed. Then you have two layers of induction wire surrounding the rotor – further field shaping, tuning, timing …
    Seems a very simple, yet highly refined product.

    Swooosh…The sound of that going over my head, LOL! Kudos to you for knowing all of that my friend!


  25. 25
    jeffhre

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:13 pm)

    pjkPA:
    Why not just put all this in the Chevy Cruze Eco?
    That would be a much more appealling vehicle… but I’m still waiting for a CUV Voltec.

    Yes many think that would be an appealing vehicle. There is a vehicle with the electric motor and much more. On the Cruze platform. Came out in 2010. Won a few awards. Read Roy’s take. Made me laugh :) People can be really funny sometimes.

    Roy_H: They did, that’s what the Volt is. Somehow people think that electrification should be free, and they think that all the extra cost of the Volt must be in the leather seats and On-Star navigation system.

    Roy, I LOL’ed at that one; dang man, how come all that stuffs not free?

    As the technology improves, matures and costs less, there will be more offerings. IMO the Spark is just more proof of that.


  26. 26
    Noel Park

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:29 pm)

    BTW, I saw a Volt on the way home last night and another one on the way to work this AM. So they seem to be starting to show up a bit more more in SoCal.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:32 pm)

    pjkPA: Why not just put all this in the Chevy Cruze Eco?

    #1

    Or how about the Sonic, which is a bit smaller and lighter and still made in the USA. I’m not buying any Korean cars, or any other imports, Chevy badge or not.


  28. 28
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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:35 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler:
    I bet Nikola Tesla would be very impressed with this motor – split magnets angled to vector fields with smaller magnets placed to further shape the fields.I assume their poles are facing the same direction, but their may be some advantage / necessity for them to be opposed.Then you have two layers of induction wire surrounding the rotor – further field shaping, tuning, timing …

    Seems a very simple, yet highly refined product.

    Very refined. And why are they using PM instead of AC induction. Cost, habit, familiarity, consistency, habit?


  29. 29
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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:40 pm)

    jeffhre: Yes many think that would be an appealing vehicle. There is a vehicle with the electric motor and much more. On the Cruze platform. Came out in 2010. Won a few awards. Read Roy’s take. Made me laugh People can be really funny sometimes.

    Roy, I LOL’ed at that one; dang man, how come all that stuffs not free?

    As the technology improves, matures and costs less, there will be more offerings. IMO the Spark is just more proof of that.

    My thoughts almost exactly.

    Still waiting for an AWD variant (maybe in the CTS wagon form… OK, that’s what I want…)


  30. 30
    Roy_H

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:48 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    Many years ago there was a concerted effort to create a new standard, 48 volts I think, maybe 42, anyway it failed. Not sure why, I think there was even a German car brought out with the standard. I believe GM was on-board promoting it too. There are millions of auto shops used to 12volts, it seems to me this is the biggest risk, that is bringing in a car with a 48volt system and the shop not checking, proceeds to test with 12V equipment or put in 12V parts. That said, 24V is used in buses and trucks.


  31. 31
    jeffhre

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:52 pm)

    Noel Park: #1

    Or how about the Sonic, which is a bit smaller and lighter and still made in the USA.I’m not buying any Korean cars, or any other imports, Chevy badge or not.

    Ummm, the Volt engine is from Austria, and the traction motor was imported at first wasn’t it(Japan?)? The battery cells are initially from LG Chem (Korea), until Compact Power ramps up in Mi.

    The spark may have it’s drive train and many other components from the US. Getting to the point where comparing is nearly six of one vs. half a dozen of the other :)


  32. 32
    Shock Me

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:54 pm)

    Loboc,

    I’m glad they didn’t support Flash. It wasn’t like Adobe was going to give me a rebate for the additional cost of the higher spec processor and larger battery needed top run. Adobe isn’t suddenly going to take advantage of any unique hardware features of a particular phone just because it is lazy and sells to lazy developers who prefer write for the lowest common denominator code.

    Besides I can always use Skyfire to view the videos if I need to watch them on an iOS device.


  33. 33
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    Oct 28th, 2011 (1:58 pm)

    MuddyRoverRob: Still waiting for an AWD variant (maybe in the CTS wagon form… OK, that’s what I want…)

    The wagon form would be perfect for me. I’ll do the hot weather desert testing and you do the cold. We’ll save GM a fortune :)


  34. 34
    Jason M. Hendler

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (2:06 pm)

    jeffhre says “Very refined. And why are they using PM instead of AC induction. Cost, habit, familiarity, consistency, habit?”

    jeffhre, watch the Motor 101 video above for an explanation of the two types of motors and where each or both are used, depending on the vehicle application.


  35. 35
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    Oct 28th, 2011 (2:45 pm)

    Jason M. Hendler: jeffhre, watch the Motor 101 video above for an explanation of the two types of motors and where each or both are used, depending on the vehicle application.

    Cool video. Video included the line, “a permanent magnet motor is designed to handle heavy loads at low and high speeds and operate for long durations. They are perfectly tailored for full battery electric vehicle operation.”

    If they had chosen AC induction they could easily say, Our AC induction motor is designed to handle heavy loads at low and high speeds and operate for long durations, which is why we have been using it since the EV 1. But it didn’t say why they chose it. Controller expense, motor cost, in house expertise, expected synergies, habit?


  36. 36
    N Riley

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    This must be the most videos ever presented in an article at gm-volt. Great job, Jeff.


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    Oct 28th, 2011 (3:07 pm)

    jeffhre: Ummm, the Volt engine is from Austria, and the traction motor was imported at first wasn’t it(Japan?)? The battery cells are initially from LG Chem (Korea), until Compact Power ramps up in Mi.

    #31

    Yeah, I know. Sigh. My Volt is 40% US content. Still, the symbolism of the point of final assembly means a lot to me.

    I bought a new 2006 Silverado 1500, which I thought was about as Mom and apple pie as it gets. It wasn’t until I got it back to the shop that I realized that it was assembled in Saltillo, Mexico. I was sorely tempted to take it back, but it was such a good deal I just put up with it.


  38. 38
    Jeff Cobb

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (3:14 pm)

    N Riley:
    This must be the most videos ever presented in an article at gm-volt.Great job, Jeff.

    Thanks. Glad you liked it. Hopefully GM will keep doling out info like this in bits and pieces. Keep letting them know you want more so they can continue to keep the interest going, and win on the public relations front as well as the engineering.


  39. 39
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    Oct 28th, 2011 (3:28 pm)

    Noel Park: Yeah, I know. Sigh. My Volt is 40% US content. Still, the symbolism of the point of final assembly means a lot to me.

    If the drive train is US, then final assembly be considered US. Legally, if not symbolically.


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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:04 pm)

    I got a couple questions in, but wanted to ask if they were looking at brushless DC motors. They can be made with high efficiencies and keep their torque at high rpms.

    Next weeks webchat w/AF should be good.


  41. 41
    James

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:07 pm)

    kdawg #10 : “…Trick or Treat – Electricity or Gasoline?”

    Hey K, you need to post that somewhere where the general public and not just us Voltnuts will see it! That’s great! +1.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  42. 42
    kdawg

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:08 pm)

    Noel Park: It wasn’t until I got it back to the shop that I realized that it was assembled in Saltillo, Mexico. I was sorely tempted to take it back, but it was such a good deal I just put up with it.

    Don’t feel too bad. Plants in Saltillo generate a lot of work for people like me in Michigan. We have lots of equipment in that Saltillo plant, and in Monterry at various companies, and now in Hermosillo w/Ford.


  43. 43
    nasaman

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:08 pm)

    In response to one of my chat questions, GM’s Chief Engineer for Electric Motors Pete Savagian responded that the “Volt’s electric motors are validated to three lives & each life is 200k miles, meaning that one can expect a life of 600K miles”. Assuming that the average Volt owner operates the Volt’s generator during approx 25% of the overall car’s total mileage, its internal combustion engine (& generator) should actually outlast the traction motor’s 600K life, giving the Volt’s drive train (other than perhaps the battery) an expected life of 600K miles!

    Toyota, Ford & other hybrid makers, let’s see you match a 600,000 mile predicted life (with minimal service during those 600K miles)!!!


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    kdawg

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:12 pm)

    James,

    Thanks. Feel free to post wherever you want (there’s no copyright LOL)
    I do have a version that’s just the orange/rust color, no flames or Volt-o-lantern.
    (I think I have too much fun playing w/the Volt colors in paint shop)


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    kdawg

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:21 pm)

    Here’s a good video of Pete Savagan talking about a lot of the things in this post. And this was back in Jan 2010.

    http://www.cleanskies.com/videos/gms-pete-savagian-electric-motors.html

    He mentions the 200K miles of testing. Also his roots are w/the EV1.


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    kdawg

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (4:29 pm)

    jeffhre: and the traction motor was imported at first wasn’t it(Japan

    Im not sure who actually makes the Volt’s traction motor now. Anyone.. anyone.. Bueller?


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (6:38 pm)

    kdawg: Don’t feel too bad.Plants in Saltillo generate a lot of work for people like me in Michigan.We have lots of equipment in that Saltillo plant, and in Monterry at various companies, and now in Hermosillo w/Ford.

    #42

    Thanks. I finally rationalized that Mexico is a lot better than most of the alternatives. Generating jobs in Mexico isn’t all bad for US workers I guess.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (6:41 pm)

    kdawg: Im not sure who actually makes the Volt’s traction motor now. Anyone.. anyone.. Bueller?

    #46

    Mine was from Japan. If they’re sourcing those here now that would be good progress. Can anyone tell from the content sticker on their 2012?


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    Roy_H

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:12 pm)

    The volt electric motor is or was built by Remy, Indiana. I understood that it was the motor control electronics that was sourced in Japan.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:32 pm)

    Roy_H: ced in Japan.

    #49

    I dunno, the sticker said something like “transmission”.


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    Bonaire

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (7:41 pm)

    Noel Park:
    Mine was from Japan. If they’re sourcing those here now that would be good progress. Can anyone tell from the content sticker on their 2012?

    It should jump quite a bit with the move for the 1.4L being made in Michigan. You could start a thread about this and see what the new owners stickers are saying. Some of the newcomers might not read this deep into the blog. Should jump again with sourcing of the T-pack from the LG Chem battery plant (probably with individual cells coming in from Korea, still?)

    It would be nice to know when the battery plant starts(ed?) placing their packs into cars at Hamtramck.


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    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (8:05 pm)

    It sure will be nice when someone starts using e-assist to enhance the performance of a normal car. Making a 1.2 litre car drive like a normal car is not very exciting. Making a 2.5 litre turbo car perform like a Mercedes e-55 AMG, in short bursts, now that would be exciting.


  53. 53
    Raymondjram

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (8:43 pm)

    Roy_H:
    Raymondjram,

    Many years ago there was a concerted effort to create a new standard, 48 volts I think, maybe 42, anyway it failed. Not sure why, I think there was even a German car brought out with the standard. I believe GM was on-board promoting it too. There are millions of auto shops used to 12volts, it seems to me this is the biggest risk, that is bringing in a car with a 48volt system and the shop not checking, proceeds to test with 12V equipment or put in 12V parts. That said, 24V is used in buses and trucks.

    I remember when most foreign cars, especially the Volkswagen Beetles, had only six volt DC systems. The conversion to twelve volts wasn’t that difficult ( al old workmate did his own conversion). And some foreign cars had a positive grounded system (my Dad’s 1968 Austin America was one), yet I worked on it with no problems.

    I know that this type of change will impact more the independent repair shops, but I see that most new car owners go directly to their dealers. IF GM or any other manufacturer changed to a higher voltage, I know by the time the vehicles passed their warranties the independent shops will be prepared to take on the higher voltages. If the trained techs know what they are really doing, none of them will have problems working with the different voltages.

    There are plenty of benefits and very few limitations for a high voltage change.

    Raymond


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    Dale

     

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (8:58 pm)

    We don’t need another spark we need more and better volts.


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    DonC

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    Oct 28th, 2011 (10:07 pm)

    Noel Park: The Volt was very comfortable and a pleasure to drive under all conditions.

    We drove up into the mountains today. On the way home my wife drove the Volt, which she usually doesn’t. As she went zipping around the corners in “L” she said: “This car is a blast to drive. It really stays planted.”

    It was also fun leaving with 17 miles of EV range and having 24 miles after about driving 25 miles! LOL


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    Sean

     

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    Oct 29th, 2011 (7:32 am)

    Well there is one way that people can get a free charge when it comes to there electric cars but still there going to have to pay a fee when buying the product and they sure aren’t cheap at all and that is solar panels plus they could also use urbanized wind turbines as well but there are some problems. One is that they must be completely off the grid and if there only trying to use it to save money when running it on there house while there still also using there main power source as well from there power company you’ll still be paying but you’ll probably be saving like 30- $60.00 in total a month though this is an example only because prices from electric companies varies from state to state when they charge you for your electric bill just to say honestly. Last but not least what makes solar panels and urbanized wind turbines besides there prices is if you live in a neighborhood that’s owned by The Home Owner Association. Than forget about it because they won’t even allow it at all because they believe solar panels or other green tech as eye sores. Though if your using solar drive way lamps, decorative solar garden lamps or other lighting for your home that might be okay but it’s the solar panels on the roof that’ll probably get you most in trouble or worst they may kick you out if you don’t take your panels down and no I have never, ever used solar panels in my life but would love to and am glad prices are coming down but most likely if I want to save energy and money I’ll probably do it when my mom and dad retires in the country where the home owner association is not in control unless it’s a neighborhood that is owned by them than I don’t know what then? But most likely if my mom and dad does want to move out in the country it’ll probably be where there’s not much city life or urbanization and if that’s so my expectations should be very high and very successful of having a much higher chance of owning solar panels and either urbanized or mid range size wind turbines not commercialized one’s way too much for me to afford if you know what I mean by but still solar is the way to go!


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    Oct 29th, 2011 (7:56 am)

    But I’ve got an Idea! If The Home Owner Association Hates Solar panels and urbanized wind turbines so much why not out smart them by making solar panels as solar shingles and they could be black or any other color to blend in with the other houses shingles to out smart them and show them that were not so dumb after all what do you think of an Idea like that to blend them in there surrounding environment like if they were a ninja never being detected at all unless your power company finds out about it then that would not be good at all but still in my opinion a very creative and ingenious idea.


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    GSP

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    Oct 29th, 2011 (7:57 am)

    Loboc: OR Apple needs to support Flash. Their decision to not support Adobe is draconian.

    No way. I don’t want power hungry buggy Flash software on my iPad. I want HTML5 web content instead.

    GSP


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    GSP

     

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    Oct 29th, 2011 (8:05 am)

    kdawg:
    I got a couple questions in, but wanted to ask if they were looking at brushless DC motors.They can be made with high efficiencies and keep their torque at high rpms.

    Next weeks webchat w/AF should be good.

    The Volt’s motors are both Permanent Magnet “Brushless DC” type. Same as Prius, Tahoe Hybrid, Honda IMA, etc.

    GSP


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    James

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    Oct 29th, 2011 (8:42 am)

    Sean: But I’ve got an Idea! If The Home Owner Association Hates Solar panels and urbanized wind turbines so much why not out smart them by making solar panels as solar shingles and they could be black or any other color to blend in with the other houses shingles to out smart them and show them that were not so dumb after all what do you think of an Idea like that to blend them in there surrounding environment like if they were a ninja never being detected at all unless your power company finds out about it then that would not be good at all but still in my opinion a very creative and ingenious idea.

    Hey Sean-
    Here ya go buddy: http://www.dowsolar.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=power+source

    Solar shingles by Dow Solar! Now you can tell that blasted homeowner’s association what fer! :)

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Ewiggins

     

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    Oct 29th, 2011 (9:50 am)

    Sean

    Check your state for Solar Bill of Rights. Strange as it may seem, Louisiana has a Solar Bill of Rights and a 50% tax REFUND on solar systems. Subdivision restrictions on solar are now overridden by state Solar Bill of Rights. The 50% state tax refund + 30% federal tax credit leaves me with only paying 20%. I just had my solar systems installed this past week. Waiting for the city to inspect and I am good to go. Next year I plan to purchase my Volt.

    I plan to publish some stats on my solar system and utility bill once it has been used for 6 months or so.

    Also a coworker of mine has solar shingles on her house. Her husband works for Dow and they won a Dow contest. She says it has dramatically reduced her electric bill. The key is to have a large enough roof facing the right direction.