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Wireless Road Charging Tested Successfully by Fiat

In the great debate surrounding electric cars, one topic seems to crop up more than any other: charging points. Are we installing enough of them? How will people without off-street parking charge their EV safely? What about those living in rural areas? Many questions remain unanswered, but perhaps for not much longer: Italian car manufacturer Fiat thinks it may have just the solution.

It’s recently been testing potentially-revolutionary wireless charging technology, allowing an EV to replenish its battery without being plugged into anything at all.

How does it work?

The principle of Fiat’s solution is similar to the wireless charging pads we’re now used to using for our mobile phones, but (naturally) on a much grander scale. Named Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT), the system utilises coils placed beneath the road surface, which transfer power to the car’s battery wirelessly. Best of all, the vehicle doesn’t even need to be stationary to recharge. The coils are powerful enough to boost an EV’s charge even when it’s on the move, negating the need for lengthy pit stops.

In recent testing at the Arena del Futuro (Arena of the Future) circuit, Fiat (part of the Stellantis group) drove an electric 500 over a road equipped with the DWPT system.The trials were a success, with the battery charge increasing even when the road was driven over at motorway speeds. 

“We have proven that inductive recharging technology can power our electrified future,” said Anne-Lise Richard, Head of the Global e-Mobility Business Unit at Stellantis.

“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.”

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