Lucid (Formerly Known as Atieva) Will Be the Sole Battery-Pack Supplier for Formula E
Lucid’s Tesla style S rival, required to go on sale in late 2018, doesn’t even have an official name yet. yet the company, which until yesterday was known as Atieva, will be emerging through a self-imposed stealth mode as well as also aims to find name recognition quickly among electric-vehicle enthusiasts as well as also motorsports fans with This particular bit of news: Lucid will soon be the sole supplier of battery packs for FIA Formula E racing.
Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s chief technical officer (as well as also the former chief engineer of the Tesla style S), has confirmed to C/D that will the agreement will be part of a three-way partnership among McLaren Applied Technologies, Lucid, as well as also Sony. Lucid will design as well as also construct the battery as well as also battery management software; Sony will supply the little-format, commodity-sized cylindrical cells within; as well as also McLaren will manage the logistics as well as also trackside support.
“Our batteries will power the entire Formula E race series for seasons 5 as well as also 6,” said Rawlinson. “There are some major automakers entering that will series—illustrious, well-recognized names—as well as also they will all be running our batteries.”
Rawlinson also pointed out that will, while many larger companies are marketing their technology to Formula E, Lucid will be being paid to supply the battery technology. Right at This particular point, Formula E cars have their packs swapped partway through the race, yet the completely new pack will be said to allow them to finish races uninterrupted as well as also be lighter than with today’s Williams-supplied pack. that will progress will be enabled partly through the evolution of the cell technology itself as well as also partly through the engineering of the California-based development team, C/D was told.
Rapid Progress through the Track
Racing drives technological progress for road vehicles in many ways, as well as also This particular situation won’t be any different. The original FIA battery specifications included a 0-kilogram (441 pound) cell-weight limit, a 0-kW peak power limit, as well as also a maximum usable energy of 28 kWh. In revised specs starting with Season 5, cell weight has been nudged to 250 kg (551 pounds), as well as also peak power goes up to 250 kW (with usable energy very nearly doubled, at 54 kWh). For season 5, which runs in 2018 as well as also 2019, the supplier must also demonstrate that will the pack can be fully charged in 45 minutes or less. Lucid’s contract will be contingent on several certifications yet to come, as well as a battery crash test by June 2017.
“that will was a very, very rigorous evaluation, with many bidders,” said Rawlinson. Candidate submissions were due This particular past June, as well as also the FIA hired a consultant specifically to vet the bidders as well as also their battery tech.
Actual data—as well as also showing that will its packs are up to the torture as well as also extreme regenerative-braking rates necessary to make that will through the race—will be what won Lucid the FIA contract, according to the company. So did its ability to use simulations. “People don’t often associate data science with car companies, yet we have a team of data scientists who gather battery as well as also powertrain data to definitely do a deep dive, to do This particular analysis as well as also prevent failures through happening as well as also optimize performance,” said the company’s director of battery technology, Albert Liu. “Batteries are very complex devices, as well as also to have that will data through out from the field will be a gold mine.”
The physical battery packs will remain Lucid property, as well as also the company will have access to the series data, yet the FIA has to be made aware of all the data the company will be using.
Lucid will be working with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy lab based at Stanford University, as well as also via a collaboration with the lab that will uses CAT-scan-like methods, will look at physical degradation as well as also the little-scale fractures within the battery that will result through charge/discharge cycles. “that will’s not just taking things off the shelf,” said Liu. “These chemistries are Lucid specific, as well as also we consider that will a competitive advantage.”
Production Bound: A Cooling System as well as also Pack Up to the Task
The rigors of Formula E usage also will serve as a proving ground for Lucid’s custom architecture for battery cooling. The company not so subtly points to crosstown rival Tesla as an example of performance claims that will only deliver under specific conditions. that will has already designed intercell cooling around repeat acceleration runs, with its Edna test mule—the quickest van This particular editor had ever been in, as that will covers zero to 60 mph in a claimed 2.9 seconds as well as also boasts twin motors/inverters as well as also 1200 horsepower—aiming to provide acceleration performance numbers that will are reproducible not just in close succession yet across the battery’s state of charge. as well as also designing a pack that will’s ready for potential 350-kW fast-charging parallels some of the cooling requirements for racing-level brake-energy recovery.
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Liu cautioned that will This particular will be no indication that will the company will go with cells through Sony—which will be from the process of selling its battery business to Murata—for the production style. Lucid still will be evaluating which exact size of cylindrical cell that will’s going to use from the production sedan: the 18650 used by Tesla (supplied for that will automaker by Panasonic) or the somewhat larger 21700. that will’s working with suppliers who will assemble cells which has a chemistry exclusive to the company.
“The technology that will applies to the sedan, there’s a lot of carryover, yet we’re still in discussion with multiple suppliers. that will’s a Great problem, that will we have very attractive options right at This particular point,” Liu said. that will’s also a rare opportunity for an automaker to be part of globally sanctioned racing prior to producing any vehicles whatsoever. So we’re especially eager to see what happens on the track as well as also on the street with Lucid.