Space vector modulation (SVM) has become a popular pulse width modulation technique (PWM) for multilevel inverters. In SVM technique, the determination of the angular position of the reference voltage vector is very important to generate the required output voltage by the inverter. The switching time and switching sequence of SVM are calculated by vector location. The calculation of vector location and switching time become difficult and more complex when the numbers of output voltage levels increase for a given number of inverter levels. In this paper, a new SVM method is developed to determine the actual vector location. The proposed method can increase RMS value of the inverter output voltage; can reduce the algorithm complexity and computation time when compared to conventional SVM methods. In addition, the calculation of switching times for two-level inverter is generalized for N-level inverters. PSCADJEMTDC simulation program is used to create the test system and to perform the case studies. Extensive simulation results are given to validate the performance of the proposed algorithm. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.