Power Electronics / Power Management

EV wireless recharging in the future of transportation

29 June 2022 Power Electronics / Power Management

After months of testing at the “Arena del Futuro” ring located in a private area of the A35 motorway, Stellantis, together with its project partners, have demonstrated the capability of dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) technology to wirelessly recharge electric vehicles. The pilot project is coordinated by A35 Brebemi, a company owned by the global transportation infrastructure operator Aleatica that focuses on sustainable and innovative mobility solutions.

DWPT technology uses a system of coils positioned under the asphalt that transfers energy directly to cars, trucks and buses without the need to stop at charging stations to refill the battery. The technology can be adapted for all vehicles equipped with a special receiver that transfers the energy from the road infrastructure directly to the electric motor, extending the range, while conserving the vehicle battery charge.

“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 are 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 proved 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.”

The research project at Arena del Futuro showed that a BEV, like the Fiat New 500 outfitted to test the system, can travel at typical highway speeds without consuming the energy stored in its battery. Tests showed that the efficiency of the energy flow from the asphalt to the car is comparable to the typical efficiency of fast charging stations, so the driver does not need to stop to recharge. Furthermore, measurements on magnetic field intensity proved that there is no impact on the driver and passengers.

At the event in Chiari, a Maserati Grecale Folgore was displayed to announce Maserati’s upcoming involvement in the project. The Grecale Folgore will be outfitted and run on the Arena del Futuro circuit to collect data and provide a detailed performance analysis.

Inductive energy transfer of DWPT means there are no exposed cables, keeping the road surface safe for people to walk on. Arena del Futuro is a 1050 m asphalt ring powered by 1 MW of power. The system is powered by direct current (DC), which offers several advantages, including:

• Reducing the power losses in the energy distribution process.

• Guaranteeing a direct integration with renewable energy sources without the need to convert DC into AC.

• Using aluminium cables for current distribution, which is easier to source, reduces costs compared to copper, and is lighter and easier to recycle.

Time magazine cited the in-road inductive charging system behind Arena del Futuro as one of the 100 most important inventions of 2021. In addition to being useful on roads and motorways, it is also suitable when combined with other infrastructures like harbours, airports, and parking lots.

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