GM motors into new hybrid investment
With the help of a $100+ million federal grant, GM will invest $236 million into developing electric motors, GM Vice Chairmen of Global Operations, Tom Stephens, said on Monday. Because, much like in 2008, demand for petroleum will eventually outstrip supply, GM is working on a petroleum displacement plan that utilizes energy diversity and energy efficiency as the keys to improving fuel economy.
Because there is "no silver bullet" to displacing petroleum, GM will look to alternative fuels, especially electricity and hydrogen. Still, increasing the efficiency of current vehicles is critical as, according to Stephens, current technologies are going to be around for a long time.
Nonetheless, with the inevitable increased use of electricity and hydrogen comes the electrification of the car, and that means a greater dependence upon batteries, power electronics and electric motors. Consequently, GM is making an investment into developing electric motors in-house as a step towards an ever more efficient electric drive that GM will be able to use in a number of hybrid and electric vehicle applications. Thus, along with batteries and power electronics, electric motors are to become "core technologies" for GM according to Shephens.
GM's first electric motors will find their way into GM's dual mode rear drive hybrid vehicles in 2013. More interesting, however, these new, smaller electric motors will also enable GM to install their two-mode hybrid system into smaller vehicles, rather than just large SUVs and pickup trucks. Unfortunately, Stephens did not offer any details on any such new hybrid vehicles that might use this more compact hybrid drive.
Ultimately, this press conference left me with many questions, but more than anything I else I wonder, when does GM believe petroleum demand is going to outstrip supply?