Multinational automotive manufacturing corporation Stellantis has built and tested the capability of Dynamic Wireless Power transfer (DWPT) technology to wirelessly recharge electric vehicles (EVs) as they travel over specially equipped dedicated road lanes.
DWPT technology utilizes wireless EV charging coils embedded under the surface so electric vehicles can charge as they drive and unlock unlimited range, thus overcoming range anxiety.
The best news is that the technology can be adapted for all vehicles equipped with a particular “receiver” that transfers the energy from the road infrastructure directly to the electric motor, extending the range while conserving the vehicle battery charge.
The test was conducted at the “Arena del Futuro” circuit in Chiari, Italy, using the Fiat New 500, a battery electric vehicle (BEV) outfitted to test the system.
The vehicle had successfully traveled at typical highway speeds without consuming the energy stored in its battery. The results have shown that the efficiency of the energy flow from the asphalt to the car is comparable to the typical efficiency of fast charging stations, putting an end to recharge stops. Furthermore, magnetic field intensity measurements proved that there is no impact on the driver and passengers.
“Our long-term strategic plan, Dare Forward 2030, is based on the premise of bringing ‘cutting-edge freedom of mobility’ to all, and this project is the very essence of where we’re headed as a company,” said Anne-Lise Richard, Head of Global e-Mobility Business Unit, Stellantis.
“Working with this incredible group of partners, we have proven that inductive recharging technology can power our electrified future. These joint projects are exciting steps as we work to achieve longer battery lifespan, lower range anxiety, greater energy efficiency, smaller battery size, outstanding performance, and lower weight and cost,” she added.
The circuit “Arena del Futuro,” where the test was conducted, is powered by direct current (DC) and offers advantages such as reducing the power losses in the energy distribution process; removing the need to convert DC into AC; allowing the use of thinner cables than the AC current distribution; and, using aluminum cables for current distribution, which is more accessible to source, costs half compared to copper, and is lighter and easier to recycle in a circular economy business model.
How big is Stellantis?
Stellantis is a 50-50 cross-border merger between the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the French PSA Group.
The conglomerate is responsible for designing, manufacturing, and selling automobiles from its 16 brands of Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Mopar, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, and Vauxhall.
At the time of the merger, in 2021, Stellantis had approximately 300,000 employees, and a presence in more than 130 countries, with manufacturing facilities in 30 countries.
Stellantis became the world's fifth-largest automaker behind Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and General Motors in terms of global vehicle sales in 2021.
We shall see how this fascinating achievement impacts Stellantis’ success.