General Motors is going to power its next generation of EVs with the ‘Ultium Drive’, a family of modular interchangeable drive units and motors. The Ultium powered EVs will provide significant advantages over their older siblings from Detroit, offering better performance, interchangeability, efficient manufacture.
Ultium Drive is based on the Ultium battery cells, which provide energy to the electric motors which spins the wheels via single-speed transmission. GM is working on the Ultium drive’s modular architecture, which will enable GM to use the technology across all segments, from high performance pickup-trucks and sports vehicles, to front-wheel drive/rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations even adding off-road capabilities to the designated vehicles that it will power, Ultium is set to provide GM with a massive bandwidth which will cover its EV portfolio and open doors for newer electric segments to be introduced,
Ultium is said to have an edge over its ICE(internal combustion engine) counterparts, with superior response to throttle and uncanny control of torque for a smoother driving experience. The Ultium drive motors are expected to offer best-in-industry torque and power spanning across several different vehicle segments, enabling modular use.
GM seems well set within its manufacturing capabilities having a long experience in the market in making cars and parts for other automakers,”Making motors, transmissions, driveline components and systems are among GM’s best-known competencies, and our manufacturing expertise is proving not only transferable but advantageous as we make the transition to EVs.” said Ken Morris, VP, Electric vehicles, GM.
Using over 25 years of experience in EVs, GM designed the Ultium with better and efficient designs, like integration of power electronics into the drive units has resulted in a 50% weight reduction while increasing space and efficiency. Using a pioneering wireless battery management system GM will be able to scale the Ultium systems seamlessly across the range of vehicles without the long R&D and wiring issues, reducing weight and maximizing charge capability. Speaking about the WBMS( Wireless Battery Management System)-Kent Helfrich, ED Global electrification and battery systems, at General Motors said,“The wireless system represents the epitome of Ultium’s configurability and should help GM build profitable EVs at scale.”
The Ultium Drive is designed to be flexible and multifaceted by integrating five drive units and three motor units, a primary font-rear configurable motor and an all-wheel drive motor. This is first expected to be seen in the Hummer EV which is to be launched shortly, which will feature a total output of a 1000HP from its two motors. The transition to all electric for GM has already seen the Detroit based automaker shell upwards of $2 Billion in makeover of its assembly plants to accommodate seamless manufacture of EV and conventional vehicles side by side according to the demand. General Motors electric vehicles business is expected to be worth more than a $100 billion dollars.
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