GM Electric Hub Motors Show Promise

Motors build by Italian firm and developed by GM's Torrance R&D center.

Published: 14-Aug-2003

neers at General Motors Corp. have developed a potential breakthrough technology, called wheel hub motors, that could dramatically increase consumer acceptance of advanced technology vehicles.

"We believe this technology will lead to the industry's first practical application of wheel hub motors for consumers," said Larry Burns, vice president of research and development and planning of General Motors Corporation. "The electric wheel hub motor is a critical element in making affordable and fuel-efficient all-wheel drive and advanced technology vehicles in the future."

"To illustrate the promise of this technology, by placing two wheel hub motors, in the rear of a front-wheel drive four-cylinder vehicle, there will be a 60 percent increase in torque at the launch. All of that torque is available instantly. This enables a four-cylinder engine to perform like a six-cylinder engine, " Burns said.

The two-wheel hub motors generate about 25 kilowatts each and only add about 15 kilograms to each of the rear wheels.

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