Italy’s Inductive Highway Project Going Very Well, Says Stellantis

Take a RideApart.com Tour The Stellantis Arena del Futuro will open in June 2022.

A Maserati is about to begin more testing.

When it comes to making the switch from gasoline-powered vehicles to electric ones, there are still a lot of questions to be answered. It is expected that most charging will take place at night, but this is not always the case. As the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road grows, it is clear that multiple solutions are required to improve the infrastructure.

It was for this reason that in December of 2021, the automotive conglomerate Stellantis first announced its Arena del Futoro induction charging project. The idea of inductive charging for smartphones and tablets will be commonplace in 2022. When we’re not at home, we can use inductive charging stations at coffee shops, airports, and other public locations. We don’t even give them a second thought anymore; we just use them, charge them, and carry on with our days.

However, the Arena del Futuro project is taking a different approach in order to achieve that effortlessness. Stellantis and its project partners wondered if EVs could charge while on the road, rather than being confined to a single location. In this case, the phrase “game-changing” doesn’t seem like an overstatement at all, even though it’s used frequently. More roads like this would make battery density and range much less of an issue.

Another Bit of Exciting Information:

Now that June of 2022 has arrived, how is the project coming along? As a whole, the group is pleased. If you’re not familiar with Stellantis’ Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology, which consists of coils placed directly under the asphalt in the testing loop, the project relies on this technology for its success. A vehicle equipped with a special receiver can then draw power from the coils, directly transferring that power to the electric motor and bypassing the battery completely. As a result, the battery’s energy is stored for use when the car is no longer traveling along an inductive route.

DWPT has allowed Stellantis’ test Fiat New 500 EV to reach typical highway speeds while consuming zero of its battery’s stored energy, according to the company. Following several months of research, this promising result was obtained.

So far, both an electric Fiat and an IVECO electric bus have been used for testing purposes. Although electric motorbikes may benefit from this project, no motorcycles have been involved at this time. A Grecale Folgore was on display at the Arena del Futuro in Chiari, Italy, during a recent event where it was announced that Maserati would be joining the project in the future. In addition, it will gather comprehensive data for the purposes of performance evaluation.

We’ll be even more intrigued when the testing includes motorcycles. Is there a Vespa Elettrica or an Energica that you’d prefer? Experia may have the longest claimed range of any Energica to date, but think about how much longer even that might be able to last with access to power like this. A regular report on the progress of projects like this is a positive sign. We can’t wait to see how this one develops over time.

Stellantis is the author.