Lucid has just released the fourth installment in its Tech Talk series that describes various elements of company’s first offering, the Air sedan. This latest video is arguably the most interesting to many people because it explains the fundamentals of electric motors, how they work and what Lucid did to create a motor whose power density is “well beyond anything else offered on the EV market.”
The host for this video is Lucid founder, CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson, an engineer by training, who does a great job of explaining some fairly complex physics. He starts by going into the basics of how torque and energy work, as well as how they are affected by the number of rotations per minute, gearing and other factors – it’s quite a good watch even if you think you know how electric motors work, although you will need over an hour free to watch the video in its entirety.
Peter Rawlinson enlists the help of Emad Dlala, Lucid VP of powertrains to compare the Lucid motor to equivalent units from Tesla and Porsche, mentioning among other things that its motors have a very unique cooling solution for the stator and that the copper winding process is done entirely by machines. This is apparently an industry first and it makes the stator lighter and more efficient and in combination with a smaller and lighter rotor, the Lucid motor ends up weighing just 31.4 kg (69.2 pounds), compared to the Tesla motor’s 40.1 kg (88.4 pounds) and Porsche motor’s 47 kg (103.6 pounds).
Basically what Lucid is trying to say is that its motor offers better power density compared to similar units powering other commercially available rival electric sedans. The side by side comparison of the three stators and rotors also shows how different electric motors actually are and how companies are trying to find different solutions to the same problems.
Weighing just the stator and rotors, they calculated that the Lucid motor provides 2.5 times more power than a Tesla motor (with a carbon-wrapped rotor) out of a tri-motor Model S Plaid. According to Lucid, its complete drive unit, which includes the inverter and reduction gear sets, weighs 74 kg (163.1 pounds), considerably less than the competition.