Lucid lays out why its motors are extra power-dense and simpler to construct than these from Tesla



Lucid Motors calls its motor design miniaturized, and it’s lengthy boasted that the sunshine and “impossibly compact” motor in its Air electrical sedan is lean sufficient to suit into an airplane carry-on. 

Lean and small is just one facet, nevertheless. Lucid’s motors weigh simply 67 kilos every and are able to producing 670 hp—sure, that’s 10 hp per pound. 

2022 Lucid Air

2022 Lucid Air

Additional, Lucid’s silicon carbide inverter, discount gearset, and differential, packaged collectively, weigh about 163 kilos.

It is rather, very power-dense. And in a tech discuss launched by the corporate on Tuesday, Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson and Powertrain VP Emad Dlala ran by means of the priorities the motors have been designed round, and the way energy and effectivity, by means of low resistance and thermal administration, have been a part of the plan from the beginning—together with ease of producing. 

You’ll need to watch your entire presentation—greater than an hour—for the physics lesson inside, and also you’re certain to study loads not nearly this unit however motors on the whole. However these 4 slides, evaluating Lucid’s motor to motors from Tesla and Porsche, get to the gist of it.

Lucid weight of stator and rotor compared

Lucid weight of stator and rotor in contrast

Lucid motor weight compared

Lucid motor weight in contrast

Lucid power density compared

Lucid energy density in contrast

Lucid power and motor weight compared

Lucid energy and motor weight in contrast

Rawlinson notes that the venture included going again to the physics and looking out on the complete powertrain as a single holistic inertial system. 

The 2 spend a lot time discussing the design of the stator, the static outer portion of the motor that, with the present formed by the inverter, creates the magnetic area that rotates the rotor within the center. 

For example, the stator for Lucid’s six-pole permanent-magnet synchronous motor doesn’t use copper-wire windings like many such motors, and it doesn’t use hairpins both. As an alternative, for decrease energy losses plus ease of meeting, Lucid appears to a continuous-winding meeting that wraps into the stator with a restricted variety of welds. It’s made with a CNC-controlled machine and a course of that resembles weaving. Then a CNC-controlled mandrel helps align and insert the woven mesh. 

The pair even poke somewhat enjoyable on the workaround that Tesla resorted to in its motors for the Plaid—a carbon-fiber shell that Rawlinson notes is similar form of expertise utilized in hydrogen storage for gasoline cells, to carry large strain in. To scale that to excessive quantity goes to be very costly, Dlala speculates. 

Lucid additionally cools its motor in another way than Tesla, Porsche, or every other designs we’re conscious of. Lucid’s technique extracts no matter warmth it might probably super-close to the slots moderately ready till the warmth reaches outward. A center channel within the stator features as a manifold, working ATF (computerized transmission fluid) by means of slender channels, serving to extract warmth by means of that mesh. 

The busbars connecting the motor to the inverter are additionally the shortest potential, to cut back resistance (and thus warmth). It’s a bonus of the motor because it was designed in a single unit with the inverter. 

Lucid's Rawlinson and Dlala presenting drive unit

Lucid’s Rawlinson and Dlala presenting drive unit

Backside line: Lucid emphasizes that its drive items are gentle, compact, environment friendly, power-dense, and may be scaled up. 

Though Lucid doesn’t really lay out an effectivity evaluation of the motor unit versus the unit from the Taycan and Model S Plaid, it implies primarily based on the entire presentation that its motors additionally make an enormous contribution to effectivity—a lot that, on the finish, 

To that time, Rawlinson ventures that the motor itself weighs so little—simply 11% of the general battery-pack mass—that if they will obtain that acquire in effectivity from the unit’s design it’s basically a “zero mass drive unit.”

That could be the purpose to assist allow an advantage for Lucid in the future, because it produces EVs that go farther with smaller battery packs and, maybe, a scaled-down model of this unit. 

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