As batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) continue to improve and more charging stations come online, range anxiety is still an issue for some people. For others, waiting for an EV to charge can simply be a hassle, especially when you’re in a hurry.
Auto giant Stellantis is testing a possible solution to such problems in the form of wireless charging technology that works while driving.
The parent company of well-known brands including Fiat, Jeep and Chrysler said Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer (DWPT) technology developed by Israeli company Electreon uses coils placed under a road to charge a compatible vehicle while driving over it.
A video (below) demonstrating the technology suggests that building many DWPT highways requires a lot of work and costs a lot of money. But it’s an interesting approach to a topical issue nonetheless, and would certainly prove popular with EV drivers if it ever went mainstream.
The system is also able to integrate smart payment services, enabling a smooth and seamless driving experience where you never have to make a detour to a charging station or waste time waiting for your battery to get some juice. “No stopping, just driving,” says Stellantis.
Stellantis isn’t the first company to pursue the idea of wirelessly charging a vehicle during daily commutes. A government-funded project in Sweden, for example, has also partnered with Electreon to integrate the technology into a purpose-built road on the island of Gotland, south of Stockholm. Electric buses use the miles of road to ferry passengers between the airport and the island’s main urban area, with vehicles powered by a 200-meter stretch of road that contains the technology.
The two-year project has proved so successful that in April the Swedish Transport Agency announced The trial would run for at least another year, with the extension allowing Electreon to upgrade the system with its latest technology and also test the latest smart billing software.
Sweden is considering deploying wireless charging technology on a busy highway that serves trucks to create what it calls an “e-road” for more efficient and greener goods transportation.
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