Lucid group shared a press release at an interesting time late this evening/early morning depending on where you live. The American automaker has unveiled a new electric power unit specifically designed for motorsport, including “the world’s leading single-seat electric racing series”. A look at the photo above is a clear indication that this power unit is destined for Formula E, but even better, Lucid shared that the technology is already present in all Gen3 electric vehicles launched in the ninth season of the two Weeks started championship series compete.
To really understand how the Lucid Group got involved in motorsport and how the heck they smuggled their technology into Formula E without many people noticing, you have to start at the automaker’s beginnings.
In the late 2000s, long before the Lucid Air or even Lucid Motors, there was Atieva – the progenitor of the group that brought us the Ultraspeed three-motor sapphire. At the time, however, Atieva was focused on developing batteries and electric powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers and amassed over 50 patents for its core battery system in the United States alone.
By 2013, Atieva had become a high-performing manufacturer of connected battery packs and electric powertrains, so his team naturally started with the idea of developing their own car. As fate would have it, this is when Teslas became Tesla’s former vice president of automotive engineering and chief engineer the modelsPeter Rawlinson, joined the team as Chief Technology Officer.
After raising a nine-figure funding round a year later, Atieva began developing what would become later the clear air, rebranding themselves along the way. While Lucid’s main focus over the past eight years has been bringing its flagship EV to market, it’s nice to see that the company hasn’t forgotten where it came from.
Better still, Lucid has still developed advanced EV technology for motorsport without making a fuss about it. That could have something to do with the FIA, and it’s not as if Lucid has been hiding the fact that it has worked with Formula E… it has just done so under a well-known pseudonym.
Lucid pays tribute to its roots by supporting Formula E racing
If you’ve been paying any serious attention to Formula E over the past two years (who hasn’t, right?…right?), Lucid’s news this morning shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Under the Atieva name, the Lucid Group has already developed and supplied battery packs for Formula E vehicles News came out in 2021 that it would supply the “Front Powertrain Kit” for the third generation of EVs in the Championship Racing Series.
Flash forward two years and here we are, sharing Lucid’s news on its “Atieva” technology in Formula E cars without specifically naming the series. What’s even more of a headache is the timing itself. Lucid dropped that
bomb Fireworks of news while you all slept and a full two weeks after the Formula E cars were fitted with the power units started racing. Better late than never I suppose?
Ok, enough about the bizarre love triangle between Lucid, Atieva and Formula E and back to the tech itself. This new electric front drive unit combines motor, inverter, differential and gearbox into one cohesive unit that produces 469 hp and a maximum rotor speed of 19,500 rpm. minutes can reach.
In addition, the drive unit weighs just 32 kg – a power density that is something of a calling card for Lucid Motors these days. Lightweight power is also perfect for motorsport, but that goes without saying. Lucid Group CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson shared his thoughts:
With an incredible power density of 14.7 hp/kg and immense energy recovery, this drive unit will change electric motorsport again and follow in the footsteps of our revolutionary battery pack in previous racing seasons. For Lucid, the technology transfer between motorsport and road vehicles is a mutual symbiosis. This new motorsport power unit builds directly on the groundbreaking powertrain technology developed in-house by Lucid and proven on the road in every Lucid Air. I’m excited at the prospect of some of the technological advances being introduced finding their way back into future Lucid road cars
Lucid explains that when Formula E is switched on, the nose cone of each Gen3 race car is powered by its new power unit, which also allows for regenerative energy recovery from the front wheels during braking. The automaker explains that this design improves the racing EV’s performance, efficiency and “relevance for the further development of road vehicles”.
The system also features the same high voltage continuous wave winding and proprietary microjet cooling system found in the Lucid Air, although my money’s probably on the Formula E racer when it comes to the track.
So what do you think? Surprised?
Are you more interested in Formula E now? round 2 begins January 27 in Diriyah.
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