This electric Fiat 500 recharges while driving, thanks to a strip of coils installed in the road.
Stellantis has plans to tackle range anxiety, which involves high-tech roads that charge electric vehicles as they drive.
The car giant is working with Israeli company Electreon on the technology, which uses coils placed under the road, called Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology.
EV drivers wouldn’t need to stop to recharge nearly as often, especially considering that DWPT works with future battery technologies that can recharge faster.
Obviously, there are some shortcomings with the idea, such as the fact that the road will have to be rebuilt to incorporate the coils, which is expensive and time-consuming, not to mention inconvenient for existing road users. But maybe it could be considered for roads that need to be upgraded or repaved.
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The system can also integrate smart payment services, helping to negate the outright cost of the road, similar to how toll roads operate.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen routes reload either. In 2017, the Israeli government confirmed that it was testing roads capable of wirelessly charging cars while they were driving.
It is collaborating with Israeli start-up ElectRoad to install a public bus line in Tel Aviv, using under-the-road wireless technology that eliminates the need for plug-in charging stations.
Volvo is also testing truck loaders, partnering with taxi company Cabonline for a three-year trial in Gothenburg, Sweden. Cabonline will use a small fleet of Volvo XC40 Recharge electric models to determine if a large-scale deployment of the wireless chargers is feasible.
For the time being, Volvo’s interpretation limits the charging routes to parking areas scattered around the “green zone” of Gotheburg. Drivers will be able to easily align the car on the pads thanks to the 360 degree camera system. There will also be built-in safety systems to prevent injuries.
At 40kW they’re slower than a fast-charging cable but much more convenient, in that all you really have to do to charge your car is drive over a pad. Much faster than a standard home charger, which produces around 11kW. For what it’s worth, Stellantis hasn’t said how powerful its road loaders are.