By on December 7, 2021

Most will agree that a major hurdle to the mass adoption of all-electric vehicles is the hassle and speed (or lack thereof) in charging the things. First you gotta find a station, then find another one after discovering the first one’s broken, and finally loiter in a dingy Burger King while waiting for your vehicle to hoover up enough electrons to get you home.

Help is on the horizon. Stellantis has teamed up with a number of other companies in Europe to build the fantastically named Arena del Futuro, a 0.6-mile test track whose ribbon of tarmac is capable of dynamic induction to charge the batteries of electric vehicles as they drive along.

That’s surely one of the EV holy grails, right? Inductively charging up batteries as the vehicle makes its way down the highway would be a giant leap towards putting range anxiety to bed for good. Even if the system only replenished a fraction of electricity being consumed while driving, it’d certainly boost the total range and reduce the amount of time spent at roadside chargers on the bookends of one’s journey.

It’s a lot more complicated than slapping a few circuits into the pavement, of course. The road surface is optimized (Stellantis and their partners do not go into detail) to make it more durable without altering the efficiency and effectiveness of the inductive charge, while the so-called ‘wired lanes’ apparently have an innovative – and likely proprietary – system of turns installed under the tarmac. On the vehicle side, it is said technology can be adapted to a wide range of vehicles once they are equipped with a special receiver, a piece of tech which transfers the energy coming from the road infrastructure to the battery.

How all this would react to rain, snow, or the large patch of rubber laid down by the neighbor’s Hellcat during a smoky burnout remains unclear. Nevertheless, it’s a significant development in the continued adoption of electric vehicles.

“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,” said Anne-Lise Richard, Head of the Global e-Mobility Business Unit at Stellantis. “Charging vehicles while they are on the move provides clear advantages in terms of charging times and the size of their batteries.”

The latter is an excellent point, given how much battery capacity is required to satisfy the range requirements (perceived or real) of most customers. It’s said the battery pack in an F-150 Lightning weighs about 1,800 pounds, for example, while the one in a Tesla Model S bends the earth by roughly 1,200 pounds. Being able to charge up on the move could potentially permit carmakers to reduce the size of these behemoths, a move which would reduce weight and – theoretically – increase range even more since the battery doesn’t have to power a vehicle that weighs more than the sun.

Testing continues, with the team electing to deploy a Fiat 500 and Iveco E-Way bus for the task.

[Image: Stellantis]

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54 Comments on “Cable Management: Stellantis Invests in Roads which Wirelessly Charge EVs...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    Definitely a neat idea, although we’re looking at a real looooong term solution. I can see this happening in Europe, as the countries there (at least the major Western European ones) tend to take the road infrastructure a bit more seriously than we do in the US.

    I can already visualize the fun of trying to implement this over here. First, we’ll get the inevitable long term screaming about ‘socialism’, then there will be competing standards of construction, not to mention that we have a tradition of building our roads in the US on the cheap – as long as there’s no potholes in the first 24 months, we call the job good and done.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      What I imagine is involuntary sterilization with EMF. The Greta’s heaven – Earth is saved.

      Meanwhile, an American decided that ZIL was too cool to let it go and bought rights for it. And will drop v8 HEMI into it. Can v8 HEMI get charged on the go?

      https://cars-overview.com/11553-zil-colonel-suv-with-russian-roots-in-the-service-of-us-special-forces/

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “What I imagine is involuntary sterilization with EMF”

        I’m sure that’s what you’d imagine.

        Electromagnetic radiation is more likely to cause genetic mutations that could cause cancer or birth defects.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          And if you can only produce mutants, isn’t basically a form of sterilization? Your species is doomed at this point

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            We are already seeing that sort of thing with plastics and various other hydrocarbon based products.

            The only risk right now with EMR is portable electronics, electrical generation sites and high voltage power lines.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Curious…do you have a wifi router in your home and/or keep your phone in your pocket?

          • 0 avatar
            slavuta

            sure. wifi. no holding in pocket.

            wireless charging however is different. it is like MRI machine. wifi is radio wave

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    The proverbial “horse has left the barn” and the government (both certain individual states and federal) want to do away with ICE vehicles. So the money will be spent to make recharging convenient and viable-whatever the costs.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    How can the sun be heavy? It is lighter than air. (Helium? Hydrogen? Hello!)

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      [they say] sun’s density is 1.41 g/cm3, Earth’s 5.51 g/cm3

      • 0 avatar
        ToolGuy

        @slavuta,

        So Sun’s average density is slightly lower than Magnesium. Earth’s average density is somewhat higher than Titanium.

        Density of air at sea level [not allowing for breaching dolphins] is 0.0012 g/cm3

        Two possible conclusions:
        i. Based on your figures in isolation, Sun must orbit around Earth I think (I am not astrophysicist, but I have extensive experience with More Denser)
        ii. If earth’s atmosphere is so thin, maybe I was wrong about Pointy Aircraft [but now I wonder about hypersonic vehicles – Mostly Very Pointy]

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Sun definitely orbits the Earth as established by inquisition during
          1633 trial of Galileo Galilei. The precedent is set.

          Now, being a heretic scientist I would say that absolute mass of the sun, which is 1M Earths has some play in it. But again. The precedent ^^^, and remember of the long hand of church.

          Yea, you’re wrong about Hypersonics. They fly around inside the roundy vehicles until the point of release for the terminal phase. Then the roundy part opens up and pointy appears ready for the terminal phase
          https://youtu.be/s5Cj9oGkN8k?t=253

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “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,” said Anne-Lise Richard, Head of the Global e-Mobility Business Unit at Stellantis.

    Someone has a sense of humor (or she is trolling us all).

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      She’s paving the way to a new gig in stand-up comedy.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        I wish they’d shove their glorified golf carts up their asphalt!

        I’d also love to tell the owners of this august site what they can do with the damn Tundra ad that not only breaks through an ad blocker, but insists on playing on every page even if you have already sat through it once, and in a final insult, won’t cache, so the browser reloads the stupid thing FROM SCRATCH every time the page is refreshed!

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          After stabbing repeatedly at that fucking ad on another page trying to get it to close when I scrolled past it, after at least ten years of having this site bookmarked, I’m done with this site!

          Fuck you, VerticalScope!

  • avatar
    azfelix

    In the 20th century they prophecized flying cars as the future of personal transportation. Dynamic induction charging will be the 21st century equivalent for electric vehicles.

  • avatar
    mcs

    “Most will agree that a major hurdle to the mass adoption of all-electric vehicles is the hassle and speed (or lack thereof) in charging the things. First, you gotta find a station, then find another one after discovering the first one’s broken, and finally loiter in a dingy Burger King while waiting for your vehicle to hoover up enough electrons to get you home.”

    More anti-ev propaganda from The Lies About Cars. You don’t even own one. I’ve never had that kind of experience. It’s not like that. Unusally you plug the car in at night and go in the morning. It’s more lies and dishonesty in order the keep up the paid trips to resorts and get Toyota ad revenue.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Biro

      “More anti-ev propaganda from The Lies About Cars.”

      You say that because obviously you have a home that can accommodate at-home charging. Your personal experience isn’t the case for the millions who live in apartments and condos – or who are making long trips. I don’t want to hear about what “most people” need on a daily commuting basis. I’m not opposed to EVs in theory. But they need to work for me.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        “I’m not opposed to EVs in theory. But they need to work for me.”. Exactly. EVs currently available or those proposed for the near future do not work for me. I maintain that the only reasonable use for EVs currently is fleet use (delivery trucks, government vehicles, etc.) and folks living in more metropolitan areas where vehicles may be garaged and utility outages rarely occur.

      • 0 avatar
        JD-Shifty

        “More anti-ev propaganda from The Lies About Cars.”

        You say that because obviously you have a home that can accommodate at-home charging. Your personal experience isn’t the case for the millions who live in apartments and condos – or who are making long trips. I don’t want to hear about what “most people” need on a daily commuting basis. I’m not opposed to EVs in theory. But they need to work for me.”

        all of a sudden Gomer and Jethro are crying crocodile tears for cities and apartment dwellers.

        LOL

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      It would be interesting to know how the fleet companies employing Teslas to super high mileage operate and then compare their practices to the average consumer.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        The most famous Tesla fleet is the Tesloop car service running between The Bay Area and Vegas:
        https://electrek.co/2017/08/30/tesla-model-s-hits-300000-miles-in-just-2-years-saving/

        They’ve put the cars through their paces. From the article:
        “In order to get the vehicle to 300,000 miles, Tesloop says that it spent a total combined maintenance and fuel costs of $10,492 over two years with a total of 12 days in the shop.”

        Tesloop did “take full advantage” of the free unlimited supercharging that was bundled with early Teslas. But Tesla got so much good press out of the deal that it was probably a good deal for both companies in the end.

        RTFA for more detail.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Will it charge my phone too?

    What does this do to other electronics? People?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    This is a terrible idea that looks good in animated presentations.

    Such a mode of charging is quite inefficient, and is strongly dependent on the distance between the subsurface transmitter and the receiver in the car.

    Of course, it’s also exceptionally expensive, and will be subject to problems with earth movement, weather, and road wear.

    This is the sort of solution that you’d pursue if cars had tiny batteries and no charging infrastructure. But that’s not the trend.

    Someday, this idea will be remembered in the same way as Edison’s promotion of a Direct Current infrastructure for the US.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      It might work in areas known for rush hour gridlock. Speeds are low and vehicles cover a short distance. Beyond that, the costs would be too great and ROI too low.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      Yup, there’s a reason why inductors and transformers have iron cores. Efficiency. Keeping that flux tight, not wobbling all over the place through the air with only a stray line or two of flux to cut and generate current. The basics were all figured out in the early 1890s, DC motors twenty years earlier. Cars whizzing by using the air as a coupling element to the continuous winding below the pavement is about THE most useless inefficient charging arrangement known to the mind of man. So it’ll soon be worth a trillion dollars on the stock market.

      What happens to the gonads when a tire blows and Joe Q Public hops out to put on the skinny spare with a steel rim? Aroogah!

    • 0 avatar
      SPPPP

      I am not a professional physicist, but when this topic of charging on the move comes up, my eye starts to twitch. Doesn’t the presence of a magnetic field make it get harder to push each car forward through the magnetic field? I mean, free energy is not a thing. Isn’t this form of charging not only inefficient in transferring power, but also makes each trip less efficient by requiring extra energy to push through the magnetic field?

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    One drawback is that whomever owns the system will be able to track your every move – when/where/how fast, etc. No doubt they will want government subsidies to build it and then charge whatever they want for its use because they will have a monopoly.

    How about engineering “quiet” pavement that eliminates/reduces tire noise…

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    It does seem like it will never happen- but a new 2 lane highway is 2-3MM/mile or a million a mile for a resurface so it may not be too much extra to sink this tech in. You wouldn’t have to do it for the whole length of the road, just a few miles intermittently. If you concentrated on ascending sections of road you may be able to get a lot of bang for the buck. But…I’d be surprised if it ever happened.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      You’d definitely want to be able to turn off the charging so as to not overstuff the battery. A high state of charge isn’t good for lithium ion batteries.

      Billing would be a challenge, unless the car also transmits its info back to the power supplier – quick enough to actually work.

      And, call before you dig!

  • avatar
    gasser

    This is too expensive. Why not just run the cables over the roadway then have a hook that connects the car to the electric cable and call it a “trolley”?? Then you can even get rid of the batteries!!!!!!!!.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    SCE “Such a mode of charging is quite inefficient, and is strongly dependent on the distance between the subsurface transmitter and the receiver in the car.

    Of course, it’s also exceptionally expensive, and will be subject to problems with earth movement, weather, and road wear.”

    Stop saying things like that, it’s a dog whistle to politicians and bureaucrats world wide. Shush. If this gets back to Greta she will beg sleepy Joe to add it to his build back better boondoggle.

  • avatar
    zodec

    Remember the world is flat. Autos are dangerous and might explode! Old Nelly just needs some water and grass to graze on, nothing needs to be pumped out the ground and distilled for the old girl.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    My condo’s HOA just enacted a rule which states that it is *forbidden* to charge an EV on the property. I guess I’m sticking with ICE.

    Hopefully I’ll be dead before gasoline is banned.

    • 0 avatar
      Mad Machine

      So what are you supposed to when automakers are phasing out ICEs in the next decade or so?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      1. The HOA must think it’s expensive.
      OR
      2. THE HOA must have been reading about the Chevy Bolt.

      For consistency, I hope they also forbid stovetop cooking, the storage of gasoline in garages, and space heaters.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy949

      What state do you live in? In California, HOAs cannot prevent you from installing a charger. So I didn’t need permission, just called an electrician to come put a plug In my garage, and done.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      How do they define “on the property” – in your garage? In the driveway? In the street? I could see a HOA being concerned about people running extension cords into the street, for instance.

      A bit more info would be helpful.

  • avatar
    Irvingklaws

    If the technology could be developed effectively I could see major interstate hiways with special lanes configured for inductive charging and autonomous vehicle operation, similar to commuting lanes. A driver with a properly equipped vehicle could turn the car over to autonomous operation and be merged into the traffic flow under the oversight of a coordinating traffic control system. The EV would then mostly operate autonomously until the operator chooses to leave the roadway. While in the lane, the vehicle might charge slowly, but would get enough power to operate without draining the cars battery. Thus the car not only charges, but conserves whatever charge it already has. The car might also charge/discharge in some manner optimal for battery performance/longevity. The operator would be assessed a toll commensurate with the duration of their trip upon exiting. Might be a good option for longer trips in an EV. Something like an electric train, except there’s no train, just cars. You ride in your own car, chillax while you’re enroute, jump on/off at will, and arrive at (or at least close to) your destination with your own vehicle, fully charged. Unlike a train system, only the road/charging infrastructure and governing traffic control system would need to be maintained/monitored. Participation would be optional, for the sake of convenience. There would still be regular lanes like there are now for ICE vehicles or whatever.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    Folks, with all due respect, conduct some due diligence. The whole “climate change” / “sustainability” thing is a fictional “crisis,” a ruse to impose the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset.”

    The “Great Reset” in turn is backed by globalist (and CCP?) interests that intend to install a “global governance” scheme that resembles Corporatist Fascism, and for the bulk of the population a sort of neo-feudal existence (check out the WEF’s video about how by 2030 we’ll all “own nothing”).

    The whole EV thing is intended to NOT be practical. If they were really serious about “sustainability,” they’d be all about nuclear energy. Solar / wind won’t generate enough power to meet existing needs, much less a fleet of vehicles. It will render electricity much, much more expensive, and scarce. Which means that EV’s will be limited in range (battery limits and limited availability of electricity to recharge). Which will accomplish their actual intended purpose – to force people out of suburbs and into dense, multi-family housing near public transportation.

  • avatar
    TR4

    Remember a few years ago they were talking about paving roads with solar cells? That turned out to be BS and I predict the same fate for wireless charging roads.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      For sure. A more reasonable but still nearly impossible task would be wireless charging parking lots. Vehicles have two conditions: driving or sitting still. Its gotta be way easier to make this tech work in the sitting still condition. Infrastructure wise the scale is much smaller and your dealing with pavement that could be upgraded without shutting down travel lanes. In fact a well designed system could be added on top of already constructed lots, basically just laying down charging mats in each spot temporarily until its time to repave.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Wow, JMII, you’re making an awful lot of sense there. I see two issues. The first is that, if your car is sitting, why on earth wouldn’t you just plug it in? It would charge many times more efficiently. The second is that parking lots are generally privately owned. So maybe it feels “wrong” to government officials to spend money there.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    In PA the turnpike charges you!

  • avatar
    stuki

    Inductive charging certainly seems like a tough one.

    But the general idea: That for BEVs to be broadly viable, they have to be powered directly by the infrastructure for the high draw portions of trips, with battery storage only being for last-mile, is not only “neat”, but indeed absolutely necessary.

    Dragging a ton or more of deadweight around everywhere you go, simply in order to have the range to get out of sight of a charging station for those few trips when you must, is so gratuitously inefficient, that even the naivest of starry eyed dullards will eventually wake up to it.

    Drawing the power you need to move down (or up) the highway, plus whatever it takes to charge your last-mile battery, as you go along, just about may allow BEVs to approach ICE cars for overall lifetime efficiency (aka total cost.) While also facilitating (for real, not just a sad joke made to fool those easily fooled) actual “self-driving”, on the portions of trips where the vehicles are tightly “connected.”

    Not being much of a “but Flash Gordon is real now, because my IPhone has such advanced looking emojis” kind of guy; I personally believe the most straight forward way to (possibly) get there; at least in the beginning; is still to drive up onto “railcarts with a charger,” running on a steel-on-steel railnet dropping them off fully charged at the destination offramp. In effect, leaving cars to be largely as they are, while keeping their interface to any emerging self powered “electric” infrastructure fluid.

    “Railcarts” may not look as flashy and future’y as “inductive charging,” and flying cars powered by green dreams; but they’re at least a little bit less conceptually far off. And it’s not as if later cars can’t be changed to “bring their own interface” along, bypassing the need for a cart, later on, if that makes more sense.

    Also, from a trucking/goods distribution POV: Containers can ride on railcarts even without bringing heavy, expensive tractors and drivers along for a ride between massively distant onramps and offramps. That’s a rather big one. Perhaps even more so for Europe, where containers can move uninterrupted and driverless all the way from China, only relying on last mile movement by human driven tractor.

    But anyway, whatever the details may be wrt what these guys are doing: It’s at least a god sign they are thinking a little bit further than blindly believing nonsense about magical batteries with nuclear power densities and, like, AI and stuff, being just around the corner, on some mythical Highway to Musk.

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