A method for driving a neutral point-clamped multi-level voltage source inverter supplying a synchronous motor is provided. A DC current is received at a neutral point-clamped multi-level voltage source inverter. The inverter has first, second, and third output nodes. The inverter also has a plurality of switches. A desired speed of a synchronous motor connected to the inverter by the first second and third nodes is received by the inverter. The synchronous motor has a rotor and the speed of the motor is defined by the rotational rate of the rotor. A position of the rotor is sensed, current flowing to the motor out of at least two of the first, second, and third output nodes is sensed, and predetermined switches are automatically activated by the inverter responsive to the sensed rotor position, the sensed current, and the desired speed.