It was an unlikely vehicle to demonstrate what could be a groundbreaking moment in the history of transport. The car chosen to cruise along the tarmac road at motorway speed without drama was a humble Fiat 500. Nevertheless, the assembled scientists and company executives seemed delighted as the small Italian supermini completed circuit after circuit of the small arena. The Fiat 500e is the new electric version that presumably the manufacturer wanted to promote to the world’s media, but the really exciting technology that was being shown was far more significant.
Yes, the car was driving on electric power—but not from its batteries. The power was being picked up wirelessly from cables buried under the road surface.