GM announced a new partnership today with Powermat, a pioneer in wireless charging technology, which will eliminate the need for charging cords for personal electronic devices in most of its future cars such as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac models beginning mid-2012. GM will invest $5 million in Powermat, through GM Ventures, the company’s venture capital subsidiary, in order to accelerate the technology development.
For those who don’t know, the Powermat technology allows users to charge their smart phones, MP3 players and gaming devices without needing any wires. Still, according to Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine, the charging is made safely and efficiently. As expected, one of the first cars to offer this technology will be th 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
The Chevrolet Volt was envisioned to reinvent the automobile with the aim of reducing the country’s reliance on oil while being able to offer extended driving range. This vehicle will also be the first ever model from GM to carry the technology that hopes to change how the electronic devices are charged inside a car.
Micky Bly, GM lead electronics executive (covering infotainment, hybrids and battery electric vehicles), said that, try to imagine a shelf where you can place your Android, iPhone, or any other electronic device. This same area, Bly continued, can then charge these different devices automatically whether you are running for errands, going on a family vacation, or driving to work. While the Volt is just the first of the applications, the company intends to expand it to eventually become part of its vehicle portfolio, he added.
Founded in 2007, Powermat is a private firm that provides a number of wireless charging products for the home. Its products are sold in various retail stores that include Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target. Poliakine meanwhile is excited to being with the Volt, which has already won to date a number of Car of the Year awards.
Poliakine added that GM remains to be one of the few remaining giants in the business world. GM, Poliakine continued, continues to be a forward-thinking innovator that had both the good sense and courage to be concerned about its consumer and the planet in general.
According to Jon Lauckner, the Powermat is the kind of technology that he has long been dreaming about. Mr. Lauckner, who contributed to creating the Volt concept, is currently the President of GM Ventures.
Mr. Lauckner shared that when the Volt concept car was originally developed in 2006, the goal was to revolutionize not just its propulsion but all aspects of the car. Even back then, the company already had something like this in mind and the company believes it will continue to have a wide appeal, he added.