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With inductive charging, a Fiat 500e travels on the highway without consuming energy from its battery

For almost five months, Stellantis has been testing one of the charging technologies with the greatest potential to change the landscape of electric mobility. Wireless and dynamic charging would make it possible to reduce the size of batteries and therefore the price of electric cars and reduce the need for high-power charging stations, which facilitates the implementation of a functional charging network. The result of the tests couldn’t be more satisfying since the technology DWPT (Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer, dynamic and wireless transfer of energy) since it has shown that the Fiat 500e equipped with this system can travel at normal highway speeds without consuming the energy stored in your battery.

Last December Stellantis announced the construction of a testing laboratory for dynamic induction charging technology for electric vehicles. In a private area of ​​the Italian highway A35, Stellantis and several international partners created the circuit “Arena of the Future”. With a total length of 1,050 metersthe coils inserted in its pavement fed by a electrical power of 1 MW they can recharge the batteries of the electric cars that circulate on them without the need for cables.

Arena circuit of the future stellantis wireless dynamic recharge
The “Arena del Futuro” circuit located near the Chiari Oeste exit of the Italian A35 has a wireless dynamic charging system.

Tests

The first vehicles to be equipped with this technology were the New Fiat 500 electric and an Iveco E-Way bus. During these months the “Arena del Futuro” work team has shown that an electric car can travel at highway speeds without consuming power from your battery.

The tests also show that the recharge efficiency that is produced through the flow of energy through the pavement is similar to those of fast charging stations, so that it is not necessary to stop to obtain the energy necessary to move. In addition, the measurements made on the passengers to check the intensity of the magnetic field on them show that there is no impact for people.

Stellantis has also exhibited the new Maserati Grecali Folgore that will soon participate in this project. The Italian brand, which will electrify its entire range by 2025, has prepared a version equipped with this system of your new electric SUV in order to collect system data and check its performance in detail on a larger car.

The technology

With technology Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT), electric vehicles can be recharged wirelessly while driving on electrified lanes. These have installed a system of copper coils buried in the pavement that create a magnetic field by passing an electric current through them. This induces another in the coil located in the lower part of the vehicle, which in turn creates an electrical current that feeds the battery and recharges it. It can be adapted to any vehicle as long as it is equipped with the reception system that transfers the energy from the road infrastructure to the battery in order to generate a zero-emission mobility system.

Fiat 500 e sand of the future dynamic wireless charging stellantis-interior1
A system of copper coils buried in the pavement creates a magnetic field by passing an electric current through them that induces another in the coil located in the lower part of the vehicle, creating an electric current that feeds the battery and recharges it.

The system DC powered (CC) reduces power losses in the power distribution process. It also ensures direct integration with renewable energy sources without the need for DC to AC (alternating current) conversions. It also allows the use of thinner cables than those required by AC, with the obvious advantages that this implies in terms of packaging, weight and harmonic contamination. These cables are made of aluminium, a material that is much more abundant and easier to obtain, is lighter, costs half that of copper and is easy to recycle, which facilitates the circular economy model.

The advanced connectivity via IoT (internet of things) and 5G connectivity allow a constant dialogue between the highway and the vehicles that circulate on it. Solutions based on Artificial Intelligence facilitate the exchange of information between the vehicle and the system management platform, increasing travel efficiency and guaranteeing Road safety. The asphalt of the roads will be optimized to be more durable without affecting the effectiveness and efficiency of the inductive charge.

Fiat 500 e arena of the future dynamic wireless charging stellantis-interior2
The first vehicles prepared to be able to use the dynamic charging system of the “Arena del Futuro” circuit are an electric Fiat 500 and an Iveco E-Way bus.

Time magazine cited the inductive charging system present in “Future Arena” as one of the 100 most important inventions of 2021 for responding in a tangible way to the decarbonisation and environmental sustainability needs of the mobility sector.

The potential use of this technology goes beyond dynamic recharging on motorways due to the versatility of its dynamic and static inductive versions. It is possible to combine it with other types of infrastructure such as ports, airports or car parks. Ahead has an important commercial development on a global scale.

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