GM Adds Wireless Device Charging to Volt

Feb 03, 2011

GM Electric VehicleHere's a new technology that could eventually find its way into fleet vehicles for extra convenience on the road: the ability for drivers to charge their mobile devices without wires.

General Motors and Powermat, a provider of wireless charging technology, announced a commercial agreement today that will eliminate the need for charging cords for personal electronic devices in many future Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac products beginning mid-2012.

GM Ventures, the company's venture capital subsidiary, will invest $5 million in Powermat to accelerate the technology's development and support efforts to grow Powermat's business globally.

Powermat's technology allows electronic devices - smart phones, MP3 players and gaming devices - to be charged safely and efficiently, according to Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine.

The Chevrolet Volt will be one of the first GM vehicles to offer this technology. The technology is expected to revolutionize how electronic devices are charged in a car.

"Imagine a mat or shelf where you could put your iPhone, your Droid or other personal device and charge it automatically while you commute to work, run errands or as you're driving on a family vacation," said Micky Bly, GM's lead electronics executive, including infotainment, hybrids and battery electric vehicles.

Jon Lauckner, who helped create the Volt concept and now is president of GM Ventures, has been dreaming about a technology like Powermat for years.

"We first developed the Volt concept car in 2006," Lauckner said. "The intent was to revolutionize every aspect of the car, not just the propulsion system. We had something like this in mind even then, and we think it will have widespread appeal."

[via Business Fleet]

Photo courtesy of  J. Rosenfeld and re-used under the Creative Commons license.