California Governor Brown reappoints Mary Nichols as ARB chair
Chinese company to convert coke oven waste gas into power for region with three GE aeroderivative gas turbines

GM enters commercial agreement with and invests in Powermat, a personal device inductive charging company

Chevy Volt Powermat. Click to enlarge.

General Motors and Powermat, a provider of wireless charging technology for mobile personal devices, announced a commercial agreement 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 headed by Jon Lauckner, who helped create the Volt concept, will invest $5 million in Powermat to accelerate the technology’s development and support efforts to grow Powermat’s business globally.

Powermat allows users to enable their electronic devices once with a Powermat receiver and then set down up to three devices on the charging mat for fast, safe and effective wireless charging.

Powermat’s inductive charging technology allows electronic devices such as smart phones, MP3 players and gaming devices to be charged safely and efficiently without wires. The Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicle 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. The Chevy Volt will be one of the first applications, but we intend to expand it across our vehicle portfolio.

—Micky Bly, GM’s lead electronics executive, including infotainment, hybrids and battery electric vehicles

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.

We first developed the Volt concept car in 2006. 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.

—Jon Lauckner


kelly EV scale


It won't be long before high efficiency heavy duty power mats are available to recharge PHEV/BEV batteries in home garage and/or public places. Our modern society cannot be bothered with a power cord. Too demanding a task for the majority.


If you forget to plug in your Volt no problem with the Leaf there may be a problem. Making charging of vehicles easy and convenient seems like the way to go. This article is about cellphone recharging, but some day it could be about car recharging.


Maybe someday heavy duty powermats can be so cheap that they can be integrated into vast stretches of roads and parking lots...?


Motors have very small, carefully controlled air gaps, rotor-to-stator.

This allows near 100 % efficiency -
So they can use a charger with a 1" air gap and <60% efficiency?

And what kind of an adapter, will you need to add, on your phone, to convert the field into charging current?

What we need is a universal drop-in system (like cordless drill batteries use) and $1.95 recepticals that fit all phones.


I view car charging with some type of pneumatic or other method of raising the charge pad to reduce the gap to an acceptable distance, bring the charge pad in contact with the car pad. When the car is charged the charge pad retracts automatically, also when the car door is opened or car is enabled to run. The car an charger would communicate with blue tooth or some other method.


What the ehll?? Are we really so lazy as to NEED inductive charging? Don't most of us PLUG IN our phones and PDAs and laptops regularly? Buy the hundreds of millions??

For the inductive charger pad to work you need a shell on your phone/device. This adds weight and bulk. Not knocking the idea. We should be able to drop a phone into a receptacle (ala TT's note) and have full charge/connectivity.

Didn't EV1 use a charge paddle?? To what real advantage? I prefer a 2nd (SAE J-1772) or 3rd level charger with direct, well grounded connects to the vehicle via big-ass conductors. Especially when charging at 100A 400V range.


Never underestimate the convenience factor in marketing. If it is easier and more convenient at an affordable price people are interested.

EV owners right now are early adopters. They say that plugging in every night is no problem, until the one night that they forget to do it. Car charging without cords could become the norm in only a few years.

The comments to this entry are closed.