On-the-go electric vehicle charging has been a common suggestion to provide EVs with increased range while driving but has never been properly explored until now.
Automaker Stellantis claims its on-the-go EV charging project can be translated into real-world applications after recent tests around its Arena del Futuro test circuit have proved the idea possible.
What is essentially a Scalextric track for real cars, the test circuit trials the capability of dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) technology by using coils placed under the road surface to charge EV batteries.
An electric Fiat 500E was outfitted to test the system proving that the car can travel at motorway speeds without consuming the battery’s charge.
Tests show that the flow of energy is comparable to that of fast charging stations.
This means the driver would not have to stop to recharge their vehicle while using the system which would most likely come in the form of a specially designated lane.
Further research has shown there are no negative implications on the vehicle’s occupants during charging.
However, this does beg the question as to what the infrastructure costs and engineering challenges are.
Stellantis’ Arena del Futuro circuit is powered by direct current (DC) which offers multiple advantages including the reduction of power loss during the transfer of energy, use of thinner aluminium cables which are cheaper and lighter than copper alternatives, and it can be integrated with existing energy sources.
In addition to roads and motorways, the technology can also be used in harbours, airports, and parking areas.