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Clean Transport

GM Says It Wants To Help “Electrify Everything”

GM wants to leverage its expertise in electric powertrains for everything that moves.

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CleanTechnica contributor Fritz Hasler has just added a third article to his “Electrify Everything” series in which he addresses the need to electrify everything in the home, including heating and air conditioning with the latest heat pump technology. General Motors seems to have been paying attention, as it has just announced a plan to expand electrification to many areas other than its core business of manufacturing vehicles.

“GM has an established strategy, network of integrators, and co-development agreements to apply an extensive array of components and solutions to a broad range of customers and use cases,” says Travis Hester, GM vice president of Electric Vehicle Growth Operations, in a press release. “As companies across many industries look to reduce their environmental impact, GM is uniquely positioned to serve as a leader not only through exciting new EVs across our brands, but through additional technology applications, and we look forward to bringing customers — existing and new — along with us on our zero-emissions journey.”

The company estimates that the total addressable market for electrification components could near $20 billion by 2030, as a growing number of industries introduce their own emissions reduction goals. In the future, the company says it will look to implement the latest in EV technology, regardless of battery generation or chemistry, to electrify a wide range of applications across industries.

“Our customers will benefit from GM’s vast network of resources, support and experience as an innovator in the electrification space” Hester said. “As we advance our Ultium Platform and other zero-emissions technologies, we anticipate smaller, more affordable, and more flexible components and offerings over time.”

Chevy Performance & Aftermarket

Those of you who attend classic car shows know a lot of those restored hot rods have a Corvette powertrain under the hood. The demand for Corvette engines and transmissions got so big many years age, GM developed a significant new business building so-called “crate motors” for those who wanted to go the restoration route. Previously, you had to find an engine from a wrecked Corvette in a junk yard, haul it to a rebuild shop where it would be stripped down, hot tanked, and rebuilt with new pistons, rings, bearings, and gaskets until it was good as new.

GM decided to offer people an alternative — a factory fresh engine that arrives at your door in a shipping crate, hence the name “crate motor.” Yank out the old engine, drop in the new one, and you’re good to go. These new engines even meet current emissions standards and come with a factory warranty, something junkyard motors definitely do not. They come with the famous “red line warranty” — once you step over the red line at the front door on your way out, that’s it. You own it and good luck to you.

Now GM is expanding the crate motor concept to include complete electric driveline packages that you can install yourself in your beloved Hudson Hornet or bucket T. Or you can arrange to have the work done by one of the electric specialty vehicle modifiers trained and certified by the company. Lingenfelter Performance Engineering in Brighton, Michigan has worked with GM to develop the electric crate motor program. Its latest creation is the eL Camino SS project.

Image credit: Lingenfelter Performance Engineering via Facebook

According to Engine Swap Depot, the electric powertrain and much of its ancillary components are soured from the Chevy Bolt. It uses the Bolt’s 200 horsepower electric motor mated to to a 4L60E 4-speed automatic transmission. The 66-kWh battery pack is mounted in the bed, while the motor, cooling systems, and other electronics are placed under the hood. Autoblog says prices have not yet been confirmed and that the first conversion packages will be available in the first half of 2022.

GM Powered Solutions

GM intends to identify opportunities that could benefit from electrification and strategically integrate the latest EV technology into custom applications that will help other enterprises reach their own emissions targets utilizing GM EV components and systems. Its GM Powered Solutions initiative is looking for opportunities in marine propulsion, off-road vehicles, and other industries.

GM has recently taken a 25% ownership stake in Pure Watercraft, a manufacturer of electric outboard motors. It is also working with Textron to electrify its lineup of baggage and cargo tractors and belt loaders for the airline industry. The drive to convert all equipment from gasoline and diesel engines to electric motors makes perfect sense. Electric motors are far more efficient and cost less to maintain, saving industrial and commercial customers money while reducing the amount of harmful emissions in the air. It is also a huge market for electric motors, batteries, and control systems —  a market GM is smart to want to tap into.

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Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."


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