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Stellantis tests unlimited EV range with in-road inductive charging

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After months of testing at the “Arena del Futuro” circuit, Stellantis, together with its project partners, demonstrated in Chiari, Italy, the capability of Dynamic Wireless Power transfer (DWPT) technology to wirelessly recharge electric vehicles as they travel over specially equipped, dedicated road lanes.  

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DWPT is a system of coils positioned under the asphalt that transfers energy directly to cars, trucks and buses without the need to stop at charging stations to refill the battery, Stellantis says. The technology can be adapted for all vehicles equipped with a special “receiver” that transfers the energy incoming from the road infrastructure directly to the electric motor, extending the range, while conserving the vehicle battery charge.

The pilot project of Stellantis and all partners involved is coordinated by A35 Brebemi, a company owned by the global transportation infrastructure operator Aleatica that focuses on sustainable and innovative mobility solutions.

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Work at “Arena del Futuro” shows that a BEV, like the Fiat New 500 outfitted to test the system, can travel at typical highway speeds without consuming the energy stored in its battery, the company says. Tests are showing that the efficiency of the energy flow from the asphalt to the car is comparable to the typical efficiency of fast charging stations, so the driver does not need to stop to recharge. Furthermore, Stellantis says measurements on magnetic field intensity prove that there is no impact on the driver and passengers.

“Arena del Futuro” is powered by direct current (DC), which offers several advantages, including:

  • Reducing the power losses in the energy distribution process;
  • Guaranteeing a direct integration with renewable energy sources without the need to convert DC into AC
  • Allowing the use of thinner cables than the AC current distribution with evident advantages in terms of packaging, weight and harmonic pollution
  • Using aluminum cables for current distribution, which is easier to source, costs half compared to copper, and is lighter and easier to recycle in a circular economy business model.

DWPT is one of the technologies intended to simplify the customer approach to electric mobility and ultimately to respond in a tangible way to the requirements for decarbonization and environmental sustainability in the mobility sector, the company says.

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These goals are achievable thanks to the innovative technologies offered by 5G, IoT (Internet of Things) and AI-based application solutions, which facilitate the exchange of information between the vehicle and the system management platform, increasing road safety and travel efficiency. Inductive energy transfer of DWPT means there are no exposed cables, keeping the road surface safe for people to walk on, the company says.

The technology attracts interest for commercial development globally due to its versatility in its dynamic and static inductive versions. In addition to being useful on roads and motorways, it is also suitable when combined with other infrastructures like harbors, airports and parking lots, Stellantis says.

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