In an effort to reduce costs, GM has announced plans to become the first major U.S. automaker to design and build electric motors.

In an effort to reduce costs, GM has announced plans to become the first major U.S. automaker to design and build electric motors.

Currently, the company buys electric motors from suppliers at a premium price. By producing them in-house, GM should be able to pass the savings onto consumers.

The first GM-made electric motors are scheduled to debut in 2013 on the next-generation two-mode hybrid. While details are limited, the new system "will use two unique motor designs and an internal combustion engine to provide improved fuel efficiency." The motors will be roughly 25 percent smaller than the ones used on the current two-mode hybrid and produce about 20 percent more power.

It remains unclear what vehicle will launch will this technology, but GM stated it would be rear-wheel drive. This seems to indicate that it could be the Cadillac XTS hybrid, the Cadillac Converj, the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra or the next-generation Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon/Cadillac Escalade.

According to Tom Stephens, GM's vice chairman of Global Product Operations, "We think the electrification of today's automobiles will be just as revolutionary and just as beneficial to our customers. Electric motors will play a huge role in that." He added, "In the future, electric motors might become as important to GM as engines are now. By designing and manufacturing electric motors in-house, we can more efficiently use energy from batteries as they evolve, potentially reducing cost and weight - two significant challenges facing batteries today."

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