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Stellantis and its project partners have spent months testing the circuit “Arena del Futuro”, recently demonstrated in Chiari, Italy the ability of Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology to wirelessly charge electric vehicles (EVs). This is done as the vehicles travel on specially-equipped roads.
DWPT refers to a system of coils that are placed under asphalt and transfer energy directly to vehicles, trucks, and buses. There is no need to stop at charging stations for the battery to be charged. This technology can be used on all vehicles with special “receivers” that transfer energy from the road infrastructure directly into the electric motor. This extends the range and conserves the vehicle’s battery.
A35 Brebemi is the company that coordinates the pilot project of Stellantis with all its partners. It is owned by Aleatica, which focuses on innovative and sustainable mobility solutions.
Stellantis’ Global e-Mobility Business Unit Head Anne-Lise Richard said, “Our long-term strategy plan, Dare Forward 2030 is based upon the premise that ‘cutting-edge freedom and mobility’ is available to all. This project is the very essence where we’re heading as a company.” We have shown that inductive charging technology can power the electrified future by working with an incredible group of partners. As we strive to improve battery life, range anxiety, energy efficiency, battery size, performance, weight, and cost, these joint projects are exciting.
The work at “Arena del Futuro” has shown that a BEV like the Fiat New 500 used to test it can travel at highway speeds without using the energy stored in the battery. The efficiency of the energy flowing from asphalt to the car is comparable with that of fast charging stations so the driver doesn’t need to stop to recharge. Measurements on magnetic field intensity also show that there is no effect on passengers and drivers.
A Maserati Grecale Folgore, which was displayed at the Chiari event, announced Maserati’s involvement in the project. Folgore shows the Maserati full-electric version, which will electrify all of its products by 2025. To collect data and perform a detailed analysis of performance, the Grecale Folgore is to be fitted and run on “Arena del Futuro”.
“Arena del Futuro”, powered by direct current (DC), offers many concrete and unique benefits, including:
1. Reduce power losses in energy distribution processes
2. Direct integration with renewable energy sources without conversion of DC to AC.
3. This allows for thinner cables than AC current distribution, which has obvious advantages in terms packaging, weight, and harmonic pollution.
4. Aluminum cables are easier to source than copper and can be recycled in a circular economy model.
DWPT is one technology that aims to simplify customer approaches to electric mobility, and eventually to address the needs for decarbonization in the sector. Time magazine listed in-road inductive charging system from “Arena del Futuro”, as one of the 100 most significant inventions in 2021.
Innovative technologies such as 5G, IoT and AI-based applications solutions make these goals possible. They facilitate information exchange between vehicle and system management platform. This increases road safety and efficiency. The inductive energy transfer of DWPT ensures that there are no cables exposed, making it safe for pedestrians to use.
Because of its flexibility in dynamic and static inductive versions, the technology is attracting international interest for commercial development. It is not only useful on roads and motorways but also works well when combined with other infrastructures such as airports, harbors, and parking lots.