Munro & Associates, a company specializing in reverse engineering and teardown benchmarking, recently disassembled the battery of a Lucid Air Grand Touring. Its engineers conducted a teardown to the cell level to understand how Lucid Air batteries are designed, and how the luxury sedan achieves its remarkable EPA-estimated driving range – between 384-516 miles, depending on the variant.
Lucid Air’s lower variants – Air Pure and Air Touring – get an 18-module battery pack while the Air Grand Touring gets a 22-module battery unit, according to Munro Live, the company’s YouTube channel where the results were posted. The absence of the 4 additional modules in the Air Touring – mounted under the rear floor – helps free footwell space for the rear occupants.
The lower trims get a 92-kilowatt-hour battery, while the Grand Touring gets a 112 kWh unit, as per the Munro engineers. It’s the latter that they disassembled to study its internals. Buckle up, because the following information might sound like a science class, and is revelatory of how technologically advanced the Lucid Air battery is.
Gallery: Lucid Air Stealth Appearance
The modules are mounted on an epoxy glass fiber composite floor, a material that reportedly provides great thermal insulation and corrosion resistance. For structural purposes, the floor has machined aluminum castings at the front, rear, and sides. Another aluminum casting divides the battery at the center into two sections.
Each module is divided into 10 parts, with 30 cylindrical cells for each part, totaling 300 cells per module. By this calculation, a single Lucid Air Grand Touring battery would have 6,600 cells.
What makes this battery unique are the three sheet molding compound (SMC) lids, another compressed high-strength material that contributes to holding the pack together, as per the engineers. These materials are held together by structural adhesives, a huge proportion of which made it difficult for the engineers to teardown this Lucid Air battery.
The battery management system (BMS), its brains in simple terms, is integrated into a printed circuit board assembly (PCBA), which as per the engineers was the largest they had seen. The Lucid Air’s battery had not one but two such brains – two BMS circuit boards with an unusually large footprint. A Tesla PCBA in comparison was much smaller, the engineers said.
One drawback of the Lucid Air battery is the size of one of the busbars – a solid metal bar that carries current between modules. Due to the aluminum casting in the center that separates the battery into two parts, Lucid had to use a larger central busbar, which can drive up costs and use a lot of space. Smaller U-shaped bus bars are more practical, said the engineers.
Another pitfall of this battery is that certain parts are more difficult to disassemble compared to Tesla or Rivian batteries, which are relatively easier to teardown, and hence possibly easier to service as well. Overall though, the engineers felt like Lucid’s philosophy was to make everything “as condensed and tightly packed as possible.”