Lucid’s Tech Talk Videos Are the Best Resources To Learn About EV Drivetrains
Ever heard the word “inverter” thrown around but you don’t really know what it means? You’re in luck.
Lucid Motors may be experiencing a little financial trouble lately, but the technology that underpins its electric vehicles is some of the best—if not the best—in the industry. Not only is the automaker good at developing electric vehicle drivetrains, but it is also extremely proficient at explaining them. The company has posted tech talks to its YouTube channel hosted by high-level executives, detailing unique features of Lucid vehicles and other general concepts concerning electric motors, inverters, batteries, and more. Its latest video about inverters, also known as motor controllers, is particularly enlightening.
Hosted by the automaker's chief engineer, Eric Bach, the tech talk explains how electric vehicle inverters work on a granular level. It's interesting both how simple these devices are conceptually, at least in terms of the problems they solve, but also how Lucid has made its own inverter extra efficient.
Inverters are best explained by the video, but in a nutshell, they take DC power from the battery, which effectively has no waveform when it comes to transmitted voltage, and transform it into three-phase sinusoidal AC, which is what three-phase electric motors operate on. Three-phase electric motors are far and away the most common motors in electric vehicles. They are called three-phase motors because they have three groups of electromagnetic stator coils that get powered up and down in a precise manner to spin the rotor, which is often packed with permanent magnets.
This is explained in granular terms, using items like a compass and simple magnets. Eventually, it builds up to Lucid's actual drive unit, which is fascinating in its own right. If you're curious, the automaker also has a video on the drive unit itself outside of the inverter, which is equally interesting and informative. It's over an hour long and hosted by the automaker's CEO and CTO, Peter Rawlinson.
The simple methods Lucid uses to explain how an EV works are very appealing. Its battery video, also hosted by Rawlinson, is also very eye-opening, although it must be said that the advanced state of Lucid's technology sometimes makes featuring its hardware a bit confusing. A lot of automakers are not operating with its level of technical prowess and therefore not doing things like Lucid is doing them. This can sometimes make comparisons difficult to draw, although in many videos they are drawn directly by the host to clarify why the automaker's tech is so special.
No other car company is putting in the effort to explain electric vehicle technology like Lucid is. It reminds me a lot of GM's old videos from the 1930s which explain automotive concepts like lubrication systems, cooling systems, and the differential clearly and concisely. Lucid has a knack for this kind of thing. I hope to see more videos like it not only from the California company but from other automakers as well.
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