Lucid's New Electric Drive Unit A Game Changer For Formula E

Motorsport / 6 Comments

It will allow the race cars greater range than ever before.

Lucid has fully unveiled its state-of-the-art motorsports electric drive unit that will be packaged in all of the new Gen Three Formula E cars this upcoming season. The unit, which is very similar to the units currently in the Lucid Air, is made up of a motor, inverter, differential, and transmission, and its inclusion is exciting news for the company since it seems it's been taking a lot of hits recently.

The next generation Formula E cars were unveiled during the Monaco Grand Prix last year to much fanfare. The heavily updated vehicles will offer 100 kW more power than the last-gen cars at 350 kW, pushing out the equivalent of 470 horsepower. The cars will supposedly offer better, toe-to-toe racing with cars able to reach speeds over 200 mph for the first time.

Lucid Motors

Almost more crucially than the power, the race cars will offer much better regenerative ability thanks to this Lucid unit that will be packaged onto the front axle for regenerative braking purposes only. Between this 250 kW unit and the rear, the cars will be able to offer a staggering 600kw of regeneration, with the ability to regain about 40% of the power needed for the cars to complete a race.

"With an incredible power density of 14.7 hp/kg and immense energy recuperation, this drive unit will once again transform electric motorsports, following in the footsteps of our revolutionary battery pack in prior race seasons," said Peter Rawlinson, CEO, and CTO, of Lucid Group. " This new motorsports drive unit builds directly upon the groundbreaking powertrain technology developed in-house by Lucid and proven on the road in every Lucid Air.


The unit is truly tiny, weighing only 70.5 pounds, but being able to produce 469 horsepower with a max rotor speed of 19,500 rpm. It offers a state-of-the-art high-voltage continuous wave winding and proprietary microjet cooling system that will offer such substantial braking ability as to eliminate the need for a rear hydraulic braking system.

This means the two motors, and a front hydraulic system will provide all the stopping power needed to bring the car down from 200 mph runs. Additionally, the 600 kW of regenerative braking power going into the 900-volt battery architecture is substantial enough to allow the cars to use slightly smaller battery packs with 51 kWh capacity as opposed to the last-gen's 54 kWh capacity.

All of these units are wholly produced in-house by the company, and it'll be able to learn a lot about how they'll perform in a high-stress motorsport environment, which means we'll see improvements trickle down to the company's future road cars.


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