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Fiat tests wireless road charging

‘Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer’ allowed an electric Fiat 500 to drive without losing battery life

Fiat 500 undergoing wireless charging testing

While we’re still waiting on wireless electric car charging, Fiat is working on dynamic wireless EV charging. The latest tests in Italy proved a success, with the firm being able to charge an electric Fiat 500 at motorway speeds.

The Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) is a system of coils positioned under the road surface that transfers energy directly to vehicles without the need to stop at electric car charging stations to top up the battery. The technology will be able to work for any vehicle fitted with a receiver that transfers energy coming from the coils to the electric motors.

Fiat says it this technology will help extend the range of electric cars, while also reducing power losses in the energy distribution process. There are more environmental benefits to using the wireless road charging system too; with easier to source aluminium cables used for the energy distribution and the usual energy-sapping DC to AC conversion not being needed.

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The test was undertaken at the new Arena del Futuro (Arena of the Future) circuit built by the A35 Brebemi in collaboration with Stellantis. Fiat isn’t the only Stellantis brand looking to use the technology – with Maserati has stateding its plan to develop it with the upcoming Grecale Folgore

Anne-Lise Richard, Head of Global e-Mobility Business Unit, Stellantis, spoke about the project: “We have proven 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.”

Fiat also said measurements on magnetic field intensity showed no impact on the driver and passengers. DWPT Stellantis added that the infrastructure has no exposed cables, keeping the road surface safe for people to walk on. The technology could also be made available for commercial development, with Fiat stating its potential for harbours, airports and parking lots. 

Check out our guide to finding free electric car charging here...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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