Canadian Manufacturing

GM first to launch American made electric vehicle drive motors

Chevrolet Spark EV will be comprised of electric motors, drive units built at automaker's Baltimore plant

WHITE MARSH, Md.—General Motors is banking on ‘Made in America’ to sell its latest electric vehicle offering, with the Chevrolet Spark EV featuring American-made electric drive parts—a first for any U.S.-based automaker.

The first all-electric passenger vehicle marketed by GM since the EV1 in the late 1990s, the micro-compact Spark EV will be comprised of electric motors and drive units built at the automaker’s Baltimore Operations plant in White Marsh, Md., a suburb of Baltimore.

After refining its expertise in electric motors at a pilot facility in Wixom, Mich., production of electric motors began at the Baltimore plant, the exclusive home to GM’s A1000 transmissions for heavy duty pickup trucks.

“The motor design was created by American engineers and it’s being manufactured and assembled by American workers,” plant manager Bill Tiger said in a statement.

“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.”

The Spark EV’s permanent magnet motor will produce a GM-estimated 130 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque, driving the five-door hatchback from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.

The South Korean-built Spark EV will be sold in California and Oregon this summer, with sales expanding to Canada, Europe and South Korea at an undisclosed date.

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