2021 Lucid Air Electric Drivetrain Design – Pure Flux
If you’ve studied Tesla’s drivetrain engineering, Lucid’s powertrain is strikingly similar. It also features a planetary gear reduction, permanent magnet motor, and an integrated inverter. The electric motor design has seen a rather stunning amount of innovation in just the past few years – the gains in power-dense motors have been faster to market than gains in battery or inverter technologies. Lucid appears to be taking that further with their stator winding – the golden crown featured in their rendering lend credit to Lucid’s claims of the highly efficient phase winding arrangement. If it’s true, they’re squeezing even more out of copper and magnets than their rivals.
One way the 2021 Lucid Air powertrain differs from Tesla is in voltage, at 900-volts. The only other brand delivering 900-volt powertrains is Porsche. Higher voltage allows Lucid to use fewer amps to create their quoted, and astonishing, 1,080 hp. Running fewer amps means your resistive losses are lower, which yields both higher efficiency and higher peak power. Lucid has already shown that they can lay down the power on the drag-strip, beating a Tesla Model S, but we can’t wait to see what they can do at the Nurburgring.
The 900-volt system is also what gives the Air its crazy-high charge rates. While 300 miles of range in 20 minutes is quite a feat, there are few public chargers that can actually deliver that kind of juice. The EV charging infrastructure in the U.S. simply isn’t ready for the Air. Tesla has a huge advantage in its supercharger network – it will take years if not decades for the rest of the competition to catch up. Filling the Air’s 113 kWh at home is going to be slow. You’ll probably need to budget 15+ hours with a standard level 2 charger.
A Typical Sled of Batteries
Lucid partnered with LG Chem to produce the Air’s 113 kWh battery pack. For the most part, the Air’s battery follows the same trend we see with Jaguar, Tesla, and other OEMs following the “skateboard” chassis design. There is good reason, as this design keeps the weight low, maximizes passenger space, and allows battery current to flow to both front and rear wheels very efficiently.