This Fiat 500 EV Is Charging While It’s Driving
Imagine never having to never worry about your EV running out of charge because the road is wirelessly charging it while you drive. That’s exactly what Stellantis is hoping to prove is possible with their Arena del Futuro (Italian for Arena of the Future) project.
Wireless charging is nothing new, and companies like Plugless Power are trying to bring a EV wireless charger to the market. However, wirelessly charing an EV while it’s removing would require redoing the road, and Arena del Futuro hope to prove that is possible.
The Arena del Futuro was built as part of the state-funded A35 Brembi infrastructure project which links the major Italian cities of Brescia, Bergamo and Milan. The 1050 meter long circuit has an embedded Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) system implemented in the outer lane that’ll allow the Fiat 500 EV to actually drive at highway speeds without actually draining its battery. While Stellantis said the Fiat 500 didn’t lose any charge, they didn’t say whether the EV bus did the same.
“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. 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.” – Anne-Lise Richard, Head of the Global e-Mobility Business Unit at Stellantis
The potential offering of innovative services such as the DWPT system will help Stellantis to meet the challenging electrification targets announced at its EV Day: more than 70% of the vehicles it sells in Europe and over 40% of those sold in the United States will be low-emission vehicles (LEVs) by 2030.
Right now, this seems like a fantasy, but Stellantis plans to invest over €30 billion in electrification and software development by 2025, so wireless charing roads might be here sooner than we think.