GM Showcases Chevrolet Spark EV Electric Motor

First automaker to domestically produce electric motors

SAN FRANCISCO – From home appliances to children’s toys, electric motors are all around us and have nearly a century of automotive use dating to Charles Kettering’s invention of the electric starter first used in 1912. With the emergence of electric vehicles, electric motors also will play a bigger part in future vehicles, such as the 2013 Chevrolet Spark EV.

“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 need as we grow our portfolio of electric vehicles to address the needs of our global customers.”

Chevrolet has been refining its expertise in electric motors at a pilot facility in Wixom, a Detroit suburb, in advance of beginning the domestic production of electric motors at GM’s plant in White Marsh, Md., near Baltimore in early 2013. Equipment and processes to be used at White Marsh are being validated and tested in Wixom. 

Conventionally powered vehicles on the road today have a variety of electric motors to power seats, windows, windshield washers and other functions. Electric motors are used in hybrid and electric vehicles to move the drive wheels to propel the vehicle.  Electricity is stored in a battery and feeds power to the electric motor to drive the wheels.  The White Marsh facility will produce electric motors for the Spark and other future vehicles.

GM is focused on the development of permanent magnet and induction motors for a variety of applications. GM uses electric motors as part of the propulsion system in the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Malibu Eco,  Buick Lacrosse eAssist and Buick Regal eAssist.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year.  Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at

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Kevin M. Kelly
GM Battery and Hybrid Technology Communications
(313) 316-9742


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