What if your hybrid vehicle was able to wirelessly charge your smartphone?
This is likely to happen if you chose Toyota’s new Avalon Hybrid which will be the first car available in the world that offers in-console Qi wireless charging for Qi – enabled mobile phones and devices as part of a Technology Package.
The Avalon’s wireless charging pad is integrated into the bin lid situated in vehicle’s center console. The system can be enabled by a switch beneath the lid, and charging is as simple as placing the phone upon the lid’s high-friction surface.
Supplied by DENSO, the Avalon’s wireless charging system relies on technology developed by ConvenientPower and Philips Lite-on Digital Solution (PLDS), and Toyota says it will elevate the high technology experience of the new Avalon sedan.
Qi has been said to be the global standard for wireless power and charging. With Qi, devices are charged just by placing them on, or near, any Qi-enabled surface. Any Qi-enabled device works with any Qi charger, regardless of brand or manufacturer, making charging simple and convenient.
“Pioneering the ability to charge with no wires, no connectors by simply dropping devices in the car console is a simplicity which reflects Toyota’s continuing innovation to improve the consumer experience. We see wireless charging as an important feature that helps enhance the high technology theme and consumer interface offered by Avalon Limited which is already equipped with three TFT color screens and Intellitouch controls,” said Randy Stephens, chief engineer of Avalon.
Part of Avalon Limited’s Technology Package and integrated by DENSO, the wireless charging technology by ConvenientPower and PLDS marks a new milestone in advancing the technology beyond consumer electronics into new infrastructure such as cars in the market.
“Wireless battery charging is more than just replacing the power supply. As wireless charging is integrated into more and more devices, a new ecosystem of compatible and connector-free charging areas become compelling for a uniquely seamless user experience in infotainment. Cars are a new and progressive dimension in such wireless ecosystems,” said Camille Tang, president, ConvenientPower.
A big advantage of Qi’s wireless charging is the freedom of positioning which allows a device to reliably charge regardless of the position or direction in which the device is placed – particularly important in the car environment with vibration, jolts and motion.
Qi wireless charging is now in 32 mobile phones worldwide – Qi integrated, Qi ready, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X.
Its efficiency is typically 70 percent in contrast to solutions where efficiency can be lower than 40 percent depending on the distance of the power transfer. With longer transmission distances, efficiency can drop significantly. To maintain acceptable charging rates at longer distances, more power must be supplied. This becomes an issue in automobiles, where even small additional power consumption can negatively impact fuel efficiency.
Qi wireless charging capabilities are part of a Technology Package, available for both the gasoline and hybrid version of the new Avalon Limited, which also includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High beams and a Pre-Collision System.