Published on January 7th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
General Motors Invests in Start-Up to Do Away With Charging Cords
General Motors and POWERMAT a pioneer inwireless charging technology, announced a commercial agreement today that will eliminate the need for charging cords for personal electronic devices in manyfuture 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 growPowermat’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, conceived as a reinvention of the automobile that would help reduce America’s dependence on oil, while providing the assurance of anextended driving range, 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 personaldevice and charge it automatically while you commute to work, run errands or asyou’re driving on a family vacation,” said Micky Bly, GM’s lead electronics executive, including infotainment, hybrids and battery electric vehicles.
“TheChevy Volt will be one of the first applications, but we intend to expand it across our vehicle portfolio,” Bly said. Powermat,a private firm, was founded in 2007 and offers wireless charging products for the home in a number of retail stores, including Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart. Poliakineis excited to start with the Chevrolet Volt, which has swept major Car of theYear awards to date.