Many European governments continue to expand their electric infrastructure to support a shift away from fossil fuels. As a result, many countries have charging station goals to meet by the next decade. However, Italian automotive group Stellantis believes they can retrofit the current infrastructure for on-the-go EV charging.
Similar to wireless smartphone charging, Stellantis plans to use inductive charging technology to power both parked and in-motion electric vehicles. By installing the company’s Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) tech under the roadway, the system wirelessly charges all-electric vehicles with Stellantis’ special receiver. The project now moves into Phase 3, where the firm will test the charging system at a closed-circuit built near Italy’s A35 autostrada.
Labeled the Arena del Futuro (Arena of the Future), the project consists of a 1,050-meter (0.65-mile) track powered with a 1-Megawatt DWPT system. In the trial phase, a Fiat 500 Electric and an Iveco E-Way Bus will test the roadway's dynamic inductive charging capabilities. While stationary wireless charging is a step in the right direction, powering cars on the move would be a giant leap for the EV industry.
“This is a cutting-edge solution to provide a concrete answer to the issues of range and charging, both of which customers are concerned about,” noted Stellantis’ Head of Global E-Mobility Anne-Lise Richard. “We’re accelerating our role of defining the mobility of the future and, in this sense, DWPT technology seems to us to be in line with our desire to offer a concrete response to customers’ requirements. Charging vehicles while they are on the move provides clear advantages in terms of charging times and the size of their batteries.”
To provide the utmost safety, the Arena del Futuro also features 5G connectivity and IoT (Internet of Things) technology to ensure optimal communication between the vehicles and roadways. While the project is an exciting prospect for EV owners, Stellantis is investing €30 billion in further electrification and software development. Initial reports may be "more than encouraging", but we can’t wait to see where Stellantis takes the Arena del Futuro next.