Wireless phone charging for smartphones is becoming the next big thing that consumers will insist on, and some automakers are on the front line this in-car upgrade.
Get the details on which automakers are offering this technology to car buyers.
Wireless smartphone charging in your car may soon be as common as touchscreens and voice-activated technology.
Powermat Technologies Ltd. will offer wireless smartphone charging on some 2014 General Motors Co. vehicles, Ran Poliakine, CEO of the Israeli-based firm, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.
GM is an investor in Powermat — it has a $5 million stake — and the automaker joins a handful of other automakers racing to add the technology inside vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corp. offers wireless charging, supplied by supplier DENSO Corp., in its Avalon Limited midsize sedan. Chrysler Group LLC offers wireless phone charging on its Dart Mopar-edition compact car and will offer the technology as a factory option on its 2014 Jeep Cherokee.
To charge a smartphone in today’s vehicles, a consumer must use a cord to draw energy from either a USB port or by a phone charger. But for those future vehicles equipped with a Powermat electromagnetic charging mat, a consumer needs only to place their cellphone on the surface to charge.
Phones — and other electronic devices — must be capable of wireless recharging. Consumer can also buy cellphone cases that allow for wireless recharging.
Other major companies from other industries, such as Starbucks, Duracell and AT&T, have already adopted Powermat’s wireless charging platform.
Consulting and data firm IHS Inc. projects that global shipments of wireless charging devices will rise to almost 100 million by 2015 compared to 5 million units last year.
Wireless smartphone charging is the latest in a series of in-car upgrades that automakers have added or plan to add to better connect consumers with devices generally used outside vehicles. Other examples include touchscreens and voice-activated systems that allow drivers to use their cellphones without taking their hands off the steering wheel.