By: Keira Wingate

General Motors President Mark Reuss revealed three all-new motors and five interchangeable drive units known as “Ultium drive” for its electric vehicles during a Mackinac Policy Conference on Sept. 21.

All the motors are designed to work in a wide variety of vehicle types ranging from cars to work trucks. They are designed to combine electric motors and single-speed transmissions to apply power to the vehicle’s wheels. The 180-kilowatt front-drive motor, 255-kW rear and front-drive motor, and the 62-kW all-wheel drive are the three parts of the Ulitium drive.

The Ultium Drive is GMs next-generation electric-vehicles units and motors. A unit is what is essentially the heartbeat of a motor and consists of a motor and transmission. It is a family of five interchangeable drive units and three motors, which the company launched to help transition into a fully electric lineup. Each Ultium Drive will combine both electric motors and single-speed transmissions.

“Twenty years of electric drive system development and more than 100 years of high-volume vehicle engineering are helping GM pivot quickly from conventional vehicles to EVs,” Reuss said at the conference. “Our vertical integration in this space, encompassing both hardware and software, helps give us control over our own destiny and a significant competitive advantage.” 

General Motors stock flatlined after the announcement, but has steadily risen in the weeks past. After closing at $49.37 on the day of the conference, it jumped to $51.92 the next day and the momentum continues. 

The push comes a couple of months after President Joe Biden announced an executive order, which set a national goal to have 50% of new car sales be electric vehicles by 2030. The goal was presented alongside the chief executives of GM and Ford Motor Company. 

GM is building the new motors in Warren, Michigan, Global Propulsion Systems in Pontiac, Michigan; and Milford Proving Ground, where nearly 11,000 GM product development staffers are currently working on the software development.

Going electric is something that many other automotive companies are starting to do and it should help GMs EVs to deliver better performance, says David Whiston, an equity strategist at Morningstar Research.

“This is a step in the right direction, but nothing to get crazy excited about,” he said.

Hummers, also commonly known as “gas guzzlers,” are just one of a few vehicles that GM will be putting the new electric motors into. On average a Hummer gets about 10 mpg, depending on the model and year. The newest 2022 Hummers, which will contain the Ultrium Drive units, will debut later on this year.