The Near State PWM (NSPWM) method, which reduces the common mode voltage/current, is proposed for three-phase PWM inverter drives. The optimal voltage vectors and their sequences are determined. The voltage linearity and DC bus and AC output PWM current ripple characteristics are studied. The method is thoroughly investigated and its performance is compared to conventional methods. Theory, simulations, and experiments show that NSPWM exhibits superior common mode and satisfactory PWM ripple performance characteristics.