General Motors became the first U.S.-based automaker to manufacture its electric motors in America.

Electric motors for the new Chevrolet Spark EV are now manufactured at its Baltimore Operations plant in White Marsh, Md.

“The era of using electricity to help improve performance and fuel economy is already here and the trend is only going to grow,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president of Sustainability. “Today is further proof GM is leading in the development of electric vehicles that will improve America’s energy security.”

GM engineers designed and developed the Spark EV’s motor and drive unit to provide maximum efficiency and power with world-class reliability. They said the permanent magnet motor features a unique design to provide precise delivery of power.

The Spark EV electric motor will produce 130 horsepower (100 kilowatts) and 400 pound-feet of torque.  This will result in an acceleration of less than 8 seconds from 0 to 60 mph.

The Spark EV will be sold in California and Oregon this summer and sales will later expand to Canada, Europe and South Korea.

Chevy_Spark_EV_Motor_2-668“Electric motor development and manufacturing is a critical area of expertise GM has mastered as we grow our portfolio of electric vehicles to address the needs of our global customers.” said Larry Nitz, GM executive director of Vehicle Electrification Engineering.

After refining its expertise in electric motors at a pilot facility in Wixom, Mich., production of electric motors began at White Marsh. Workers at the Baltimore plant completed extensive training on the operation of the machines used to configure portions of the electric motor and drive units.

“The motor design was created by American engineers and it’s being manufactured and assembled by American workers,” said plant manager Bill Tiger. “By designing electric motors in Michigan and manufacturing them at Baltimore Operations, GM controls the design, materials and production processes, as well as reducing costs and improving performance, quality, reliability and manufacturability.”

GM said the Baltimore facility is highly green and environmentally friendly. It is GM’s exclusive manufacturer of A1000 transmissions for heavy duty pickup trucks and electric motors and drivetrains for the Chevrolet Spark EV.

The facility has been landfill free since 2007, recycling 100 percent of its waste. Baltimore’s facility has had a 1.2 megawatt roof mounted solar array installed in May 2011 and received certification for their Wildlife Habitat in June 2011.

A new facility has been built on the campus to house manufacturing for eMotor production.