GM Powers Computers with Energy from Engine Testing

Efficient powertrain engineering center in Torino, Italy captures its spent energy
Jun 29, 2012 12:00 PM ET
Press Release

(3BL Media) Torino, Italy – June 29, 2012  As visitors to the General Motors Powertrain Engineering Center in Torino walk the halls, they can often hear the whirring of engines being tested. But what they can’t hear is the excess energy being transferred back to the grid.

Within a year, the center has harvested 300,000 kilowatt hours of energy from test benches – equipment that tests various measures of a running engine.

This excess energy would normally be lost to the atmosphere. Now GM captures it to power all of the facility’s computers.

“Energy efficiency represents an important component of GM’s global production,” said Pierpaolo Antonioli, managing director of the General Motors Powertrain Engineering Center. “This initiative helps us operate our facility at its energy-efficient best on a daily basis, thanks to the ingenuity of our team and recent investment in our facility.”

The plant runs 15 test benches, with five more on the way, as engineers design fuel-efficient engines for Chevrolet and Opel. The idea to put the excess energy to better use fell in line with the company’s sustainability goals.

GM’s Pontiac (Mich.) Engineering Center also sends energy from engine testing back to the grid. Since 2008, it has regenerated more than 26.7 million kilowatt hours of energy to power internal processes. This is the equivalent of the electricity consumed by 2,326 U.S. households in one year.

For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM’s brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at

The GM Engineering Center in Torino was established in 2005 with 80 employees. In September 2008 the Center moved into its new Politecnico facility, making GM the first automotive company to become a physical part of a university campus. The collaboration brings strength to engineering research and development. The center currently engineers and develops diesel engines, controls and advanced propulsion systems for GM brands. The Engineering Center now employs around 500 people.


Sharon Basel
+1 (313) 378-6647