Stellantis’s ‘Scalextric’ Set Testing Dynamic BEV Charging

The world’s biggest ‘Scalextric’ set is claiming proof of concept for dynamic induction charging of BEVs.

Stellantis Group’s testing track, the “Arena Del Futuro”, has been converted to a highway able to charge BEVs in motion. The circuit built by A35 Brebemi, the direct motorway link between Brescia and Milan, in collaboration with automaker and other international partners, public institutions and universities, has now become a reality.

Located in a closed aread of the A35 autostrada near the Chiari Ovest exit, the 1,148 yard-long circuit is powered with an electrical output of 1 MW. It is now ready to field test the innovative technology used to charge electric vehicles when they are driven over the circuit.

To do so, the first vehicles, a new Fiat 500 and the Iveco E-Way bus, have been fitted out to test the system with more than encouraging results. The aim is to demonstrate how the dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) charging system could be one of the best candidates in giving immediate, concrete answers to BEV range anxiety.

Using the system, BEVs can be charged “wirelessly” by driving them in lanes with an electrified system of turns installed under the tarmac. This technology can be adapted for all vehicles equipped with a special “receiver”, which transfers the energy incoming from the road infrastructure to the battery. At the same time, connectivity over IOT technologies should aid road safety, made possible by constant dialog between the autostrada and the vehicles traveling along them. The road surface will also be optimized to make it more durable without altering the efficiency and effectiveness of the inductive charge.

Anne-Lise Richard, head of the global e-mobility business unit at Stellantis, said: “This is a cutting-edge solution to provide a concrete answer to the issues of range and charging, both of which customers are concerned about. We’re accelerating our role of defining the mobility of the future and, in this sense, DWPT technology seems to us to be in line with our desire to offer a concrete response to customers’ requirements. Charging vehicles while they are on the move provides clear advantages in terms of charging times and the size of their batteries.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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