Lucid unveils its electric motor powering Formula E

Lucid unveils its electric motor powering Formula E

Lucid may be best known for its luxury electric sedan, the Air, but the Californian company got its start back in 2007 as a supplier of EV technology to major OEMs under the Atieva name.

Despite entering car production, Lucid has not given up its supply business and on Wednesday announced one of its latest deals: to supply front-engine generators for the Formula E World Championship.

Lucid has also previously supplied battery packs to Formula E.

Lucid calls the motor-generator an electric drive unit because the fully self-contained unit also includes an inverter, differential and gearbox. The unit will be used in the Formula E Gen3 race car, which entered racing this year. The Gen3 is common to all teams, although certain parameters can be developed by individual teams.

Formula E Gen3 racing car

When announcing its Gen3 car last April, Formula E organizers said the car’s motor-generators are capable of converting about 95% of the battery’s electrical energy into motion. Compare that to a production internal combustion engine, which uses at most about 40% of the energy stored in the fuel to move.

The electric drive unit weighs just 70.5 pounds but produces a maximum of 469 horsepower, or about 6.6 horsepower per pound of weight. The motor in the electric drive unit can rev up to 19,500 rpm, and Lucid says the continuous wave winding and proprietary cooling system are the same as in the Air sedan.

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

2022 Lucid Air Grand Touring

“This new motorsport power unit builds directly on the breakthrough powertrain technology developed in-house by Lucid and proven on the road in every Lucid Air,” said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid CEO and CTO, in a statement.

Rawlinson also said lessons learned in motorsport, including Formula E, could in turn benefit future Lucid road cars.

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