Iveco Bus takes part in Italian road charging test

By Julian Buckley13 June 2022

Iveco Bus on inductive road charging Iveco Bus on inductive road charging test route

An Italian pilot project for inductive vehicle charging (also referred to as Dynamic Wireless Power Transfer, or DWPT) has been unveiled at the ‘Arena del Futuro’ test circuit in Chiari, Brescia.

Launched in May 2021 and coordinated by A35 Brebemi and Aleatica, the project is designed to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of charging electric vehicles using contactless dynamic inductive currents.

The tech allows for EVs to recharge battery packs while travelling in dedicated lanes. The charge is delivered using a system of coils positioned under the road surface that transfers energy directly to the batteries.

Iveco Bus contributed a 12-metre E-WAY model for the project, which was retrofitted with the necessary hardware to accept the inductive current. Travelling over the one-kilometre test track at speeds of more than 70 km/h, the bus receives 75 kW of electrical power. The test is described as being ‘very close to real conditions’.

Inductive charging can cut the required size of the onboard battery pack as range potential is no longer fixed to battery pack capacity. It also translates to a lighter vehicle, increasing cargo and passenger capacity. It also said to extend average battery life.

Road charging route markers Road charging route markers

The tech can be used by both battery and fuel cell electric vehicles.

Domenico Nucera, president of the Bus Business Unit at Iveco Group, said: “Induction charging technology has exciting potential for commercial vehicles and could become an effective infrastructure platform for all e-mobility systems, not just purely electric vehicles. We will continue testing, in the belief that this technology can contribute effectively to the transition to zero-emission mobility, thanks to the benefits it offers all users.”

While this is new technology for European markets, transit companies in South Korea have been working on road induction for a number of years. Early test launched in 2013 used converted diesel-to-EV buses, but suffered from onboard part degradation. But a new test, launched in Daejeon in 2021, uses ‘power tracks’ to recharge stationary buses enroute.

The buses remain stationary as the track is quite short. This is due to the prohibitively high cost of installing the inductive road charging hardware over an extended distance. But once this is in place, the tech could help to significantly decarbonise public transport.

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