Unlimited autonomy for electric vehicles in inductive load tests carried out on the road.
The fifth largest automaker in the world has built and tested a charging system for cars on the road: a road loop in Italy with a wireless charging system for electric vehicles embedded below the surface, so that electric cars can be charged while driving and achieve unlimited autonomy.
Stellantis, the parent company of Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, Maserati and many others, is a founding member of the Arena of the Future project in Chiari, a loop of road just over a kilometer long near from the Chiari exit of the A35 motorway, about half an hour from Milan, in northern Italy.
This ” Arena of the Future ” was built to test a number of future-oriented transportation technologies, including advanced 5G and IoT connectivity ideas, V2X communications, and road surface optimizations.
But its main goal was to test and demonstrate the capabilities of roadside wireless charging systems, such as Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWTP) technology from Stellantis.
To install the DWTP, small grooves have to be cut in the road surface so that a series of flat inductive charging coils can be placed and connected to a power source. Asphalt is then laid on top.
When active, the coils send power to passing vehicles, provided they are equipped with a receiver.
Interestingly, in this phase it seems that the energy is sent directly to the car’s electric motor. So instead of charging the battery, the DWTP system simply takes care of supplying power, so the above electric vehicles can be driven at highway speeds without burning any batteries.
Initial tests have been completed, and Stellantis says the power transfer efficiency is ” comparable to the efficiency of typical fast-charging stations. “
The magnetic fields involved, the company says, have ” no impact on the driver and passengers “, and are safe for pedestrians.
Running on direct current means that the ETAP can use relatively thin and compact wiring, and can also be directly and efficiently connected to renewable energy sources without the need to convert to alternating current.
So it can be done, and it works. But it is not known if or when the DWTP system will be implemented on public roads. Starting such a project on a commercial scale poses a series of chicken and egg problems, and it may end up costing more than it can bring in revenue. Such facilities will only make sense if they are deployed on very long stretches of busy motorways, if drivers can be billed for their use, and if enough people buy compatible cars to make them worthwhile.
Aside from the positive test results, it seems that several very expensive leaps of faith are yet to come before road charging becomes commonplace. Stellantis claims that the technology ” attracts interest for commercial development globally ” as it can also be incorporated into EV static charging stations, car parks, airports and the like, but nothing concrete has yet been announced.
Via “Arena del Futuro” Demonstrates Capability of Dynamic Inductive Recharging Technology for Electric Vehicles | Stellantis
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