GM Breaks Ground on First Electric Motor Plant

On Tuesday, GM broke ground on what will be the first electric motor plant built by a major automaker when it opens in 2013. Here GM will build a new rear-wheel drive electric motor…for what?

Please please please let it be some kind of sporty Volt-esque plug-in hybrid with rear-wheel drive! I am a Ford guy through and through, but if GM makes a fast, fun, sporty rear-drive coupe that just happens to be a plug-in hybrid, I might have to jump ship.

Back to the plant. Called the “GM Baltimore Operations” complex, this new plant will neighbor GM’s Allison transmission plant, which already employs about 200 people. The new plant is expected to employ another 190 people, and will cost about $244.5 million. GM will pay $129 million, the Department of Energy will chip in another $105 million, and state and local governments will contribute another $10.5 million to the project.

The plant will be powered by a 1.23 megawatt solar array that is expected to save GM $330,000 over the lifetime of the project, and provide around 10% of the plant’s energy needs. The neighboring Baltimore complex also has a zero-landfull status, which means it recycles everything that comes into the plant, generating no outgoing waste. Nifty huh?

I’m sure somebody is going to get up in arms about the government kicking in almost half the costs of this new plant. Know what? I don’t want to hear it, especially after Congress voted to let Big Oil keep its billions of dollars in subsidies.

Instead, I want to ask you guys what you think GM is developing this electric motor for. A hybrid pickup? A new hybrid sports coupe? Or will it merely be a part of a new hybrid drivetrain for some upcoming sedan? I can’t wait to find out. And seeing as how GM doesn’t just build auto plants willy-nilly these days, I think it shows a big commitment on their part towards hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles.

What’s your take?

Source: Edmunds Auto Observer

Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.

 

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.