This Fiat 500 EV charges wirelessly on the road as it drives
Embedding inductive charging into the road surface of highways is an idea that many manufacturers have investigated over the years, but none of them have yet implemented it for public use. But charging your EV on the go, while you’re driving down the highway, seems like such a tempting prospect that companies are willing to spend time and resources to make it viable and the newest automaker to try it. is Stellantis.
The newest industrial giant on the global automotive scene, Stellantis, has created a circular test track with built-in inductive charging, calling it Arena del Futuro (Italian for Arena of the Future). It was built as part of the state-funded A35 Brembi infrastructure project which connects the main Italian cities of Brescia, Bergamo and Milan.
According to Stellantis, the outer lane of the circle has a built-in Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) system and allows a vehicle like the electric Fiat 500 they used as a test car to run at speeds highway without actually draining its battery. The company says it is committed to delivering “state-of-the-art freedom of mobility” and this is one way to achieve this without overloading cars with huge, heavy batteries.
Stellantis also notes that one thing that differentiates its Arena del Futuro from other similar projects is that it is actually DC powered, which should result in less power loss in the distribution process, negating the need to convert dc to ac this allows thinner cables to be used and they can apparently use aluminum cables which are still conductive enough to do the job but are half the cost of copper and that brings benefits extra, especially for recycling.
Anne-Lise Richard, Head of Global e-Mobility Business Unit at Stellantis, said that
Our long-term strategic plan, Dare Forward 2030, is based on the principle of bringing “edge mobility freedom” to all and this project is the essence of the direction we are taking as a company.
By working with this incredible group of partners, we have proven that inductive charging technology can power our electrified future. These joint projects are exciting milestones as we strive to extend battery life, reduce range anxiety, improve power efficiency, reduce battery size, deliver exceptional performance and reduce weight and cost.