Lucid engines are already helping to energize Formula E racing


California-based Lucid Motors confirmed on Wednesday that it is supplying the standard front drive unit for “the world’s largest single-seat electric racing series.”

Yes, it’s Formula E, and it’s an exciting link to a production electric vehicle, as details continue to trickle out on component sourcing for Formula E Gen 3 cars, even with a race, Mexico, in the rearview mirror.

The unit that Lucid provides reaches an astonishing 14.7 hp/kg and combines motor, inverter, differential and transmission, weighing a total of only 70.5 pounds and producing 469 hp, with a maximum rotor speed of 19,500 rpm.

Each team can choose their own rear motor unit, but will use the Lucid unit up front, mounted in the nose of the race car and there primarily to help the front wheels recuperate up to 250kW of regenerative energy. With the maximum regeneration capacity more than doubled in the Gen 3 car, to 600kw, and the car itself lighter and more agile, this will help make racing more exciting to watch this season.

Lucid Drive Unit for Formula E

Lucid Drive Unit for Formula E

The technical specifications of the energy density and overall lightness of Lucid’s racing engine are just as impressive as those used in his production car. That’s because it’s in some ways the same engine. The unit, called the “micromotor” internally within Lucid, is roughly a half-scale version of its existing motor unit in the Air, and it incorporates some of the same design traits, such as the microjet cooling strategy and the same continuous wave winding highlighted in a video about Lucid’s engines from CEO/CTO Peter Rawlinson and VP of Powertrain Emad Dlala.

Lucid's Rawlinson and Dlala introducing the training unit

Lucid’s Rawlinson and Dlala introducing the training unit

This is not the first time that Lucid has supplied a key component to Formula E. Over four seasons in the Gen 2 car, it applied the expertise of its Atieva battery and motorsport unit to supply the batteries for 54 kWh that transformed the racing series, allowing a single charge for each race, rather than two separate cars.

Rawlinson, as he revealed in previous conversations with Green Car Reports, tends to be skeptical of the extent to which racing tech is moving from pit lane to production vehicles. Here, Lucid shows just the opposite, bringing what is essentially a scaled-down version of the production Air sedan’s drive motor to a rather different use case.

Lucid Air Sapphire

Lucid Air Sapphire

Although with its ultra-high-performance three-motor Lucid Air Sapphire arriving for deliveries later this year and likely to do high-speed racing and track records, it’s entirely possible there will be some finds. racers making their way home.


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