Stellantis successfully charges electric cars inductively while driving

Stellantis successfully charges electric cars inductively while driving

After months of testing on the "Arena del Futuro" racetrack, car company Stellantis, together with its project partners in Chiari (Italy), has demonstrated the ability of its technology called DWPT (Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer) to charge electric cars wirelessly. DWPT is a system based on conductor loops that are laid under the asphalt and can transfer power directly to cars, trucks and buses - without them having to stop at charging stations to recharge their batteries.

The technology can be adapted to all vehicles equipped with a special "receiver" that transfers the energy coming from the road infrastructure directly to the electric motor, extending the range and thus conserving the vehicle battery. The pilot project by Stellantis and the other partners involved is coordinated by A35 Brebemi, a company belonging to the global transport infrastructure operator Aleatica, which focuses on sustainable, innovative mobility solutions.

"Our long-term strategic plan 'Dare Forward 2030' is based on the goal of enabling state-of-the-art mobility freedom for all people. This project is therefore the quintessence of what we strive for as a company," says Anne-Lise Richard, Head of Global e-Mobility Business Unit, Stellantis. "Our collaboration with this group of partners has proven that inductive charging technology is capable of powering our electrified future. Such collaborative projects are exciting steps towards longer battery life, greater range, higher energy efficiency, smaller battery size, high performance, lower weight and lower cost."

The Arena del Futuro tests provide the first important evidence that an electric car such as the new Fiat 500e, equipped to test the system, can travel at typical motorway speeds without using up the energy stored in its battery. The tests also show that the efficiency of the energy flow from the asphalt to the car is comparable to the typical efficiency of fast-charging stations so that the driver does not even have to stop to recharge. In addition, measurements of the magnetic field strength are said to prove that there is no negative impact on the driver and other vehicle occupants or pedestrians.

A Maserati Grecale Folgore was also presented at the event to announce Maserati's upcoming involvement in the project. The Folgore represents the all-electric version of the Maserati brand, which will electrify its entire product range by 2025. The car will be used on the "Arena del Futuro" circuit to collect data and carry out detailed performance analysis.

Reducing power losses during energy distribution;
Ensuring direct integration with renewable energy sources without the need to convert DC to AC;
Allowing the use of thinner cables than those used in AC power distribution - with obvious advantages in terms of packaging, weight and harmonic loading;
Use of aluminium cables for power distribution. These are easier to source, cost half as much as copper and are easier to recycle as part of a circular economy business model.
DWPT is one of those technologies that should make it easier for customers to access electromobility and ultimately provide a concrete answer to the demands of decarbonisation and environmental sustainability in the mobility sector. Time Magazine has named the inductive charging system for the road in the "Arena del Futuro" as one of the 100 most important inventions of 2021.

These goals are coming within reach thanks to innovative technologies such as 5G, IoT (Internet of Things) and AI-based application solutions, which facilitate the exchange of information between the vehicle and the system management platform and increase road safety and travel efficiency. With DWPT inductive power transmission, there are also no exposed cables. This keeps the road surface safe for pedestrians.

The technology is attracting worldwide interest for commercial development due to its versatility in its dynamic and static inductive versions. It is not only useful on roads and highways, but also in connection with other infrastructures such as ports, airports and car parks.

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