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GM Opens EV Motor Plant – Then Pumps Big Bucks into Conventional Gas Engine Factory

Maker covering all bases.

by on May.18, 2011

The Chevy Sonic will be the next model to get GM's Ecotec four-cylinder engine.

As former General Motors Chairman Bob Lutz liked to say, “there’s no silver bullet” when it comes to finding the cleaner, more fuel-efficient technology for tomorrow’s cars. Instead, he and other industry experts believe that, over the next decade or two, we’ll likely see cars run on a variety of different, increasingly efficient, forms of power.

GM is underscoring that point, this week, with two big announcements covering both conventional and advanced engine technology.

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The maker broke ground, on Tuesday, at what will become the first U.S. plant owned by a major automaker specifically to produce electric motors.  They’ll be used, the maker said, in the next generation of its two-mode hybrid system – which should be both more efficient and less expensive than the current version of that gas-electric driveline.

“Going forward, we want to see these things not only invented in America; we want to see them built in America,” said U.S. Energy Sec. Steven Chu, during a ceremony at the plant, near Baltimore. “And it’s that combination of invented in the U.S., built in the U.S., and sold worldwide that’s going to be the heart of our future.”