GM claims to be the first US-based automaker to manufacture electric motors and drive units in America, as it began producing these components for the new Chevrolet Spark EV at its Baltimore Operations plant in White Marsh, Maryland. The design of the motors was refined at a pilot facility in Michigan.
“The era of using electricity to help improve performance and fuel economy is already here and the trend is only going to grow,” said Mike Robinson, GM’s VP of Sustainability. “Today is further proof GM is leading in the development of electric vehicles that will improve America’s energy security.”
The Spark EV’s permanent magnet motor will produce 130 hp (100 kW) and 400 lb-ft of torque, propelling the scrappy hatchback from 0 to 60 in less than eight seconds, according to GM. The new EV will go on sale in California and Oregon this summer.
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley praised GM for bringing jobs to his state: “In Maryland, innovation is something we do well and with our world class work force, we’re in a position to grow Maryland’s Innovation Economy so we can create even more jobs for our hardworking families.”
“The motor design was created by American engineers and it’s being manufactured and assembled by American workers,” said plant manager Bill Tiger. “By designing electric motors in Michigan and manufacturing them at Baltimore Operations, GM controls the design, materials and production processes, as well as reducing costs and improving performance, quality, reliability and manufacturability.”
GM’s Baltimore facility, which also builds A1000 transmissions for heavy-duty pickup trucks, prides itself on its greenness – it recycles 100% of its waste, and features a 1.2 MW roof-mounted solar array.