When the words “wireless charging” and “hybrid vehicle” get bunched together, electric vehicle fans get a specific image in their head. When it comes to the new Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited, though, think cell phone, not a parking space with a resonance pad.
The Japanese automaker, which started selling the updated 2013 versions of both the standard Avalon and Avalon Hybrid this month, is offering a feature that lets drivers of both models charge up their portable devices wirelessly inside the car.
The so-called Qi wireless charging system involves a charging pad that’s located beneath a lid inside the car’s center console. Put your phone on the lid’s “high-friction” service and, voila, instant juice. Toyota says 34 cell phone models, including the LG Google Nexus 4 and Nokia Lumia 920, are compatible with the system, which Toyota says is the first of its kind in the world.
The Avalon Hybrid was rated this summer to get the magic 40 miles per gallon in city driving and 39 mpg on the highway. Check out Toyota’s press release below. Show full PR text Toyota’s 2013 Avalon to Offer World’s First Application of Qi Wireless In-Car ChargingThe Avalon’s wireless charging pad is integrated into the ebin® lid situated in vehicle’s center console.Toyota offers in-console Qi wireless charging in the 2013 Avalon Limited.TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 19, 2012 – The 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited will be the first vehicle available in the world that offers in-console Qi wireless charging for Qi–enabled mobile phones and devices as 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.
Qi is the global standard for wireless power and charging. With Qi, devices can be 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.
The Avalon’s wireless charging pad is integrated into the ebin® 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 it will elevate the high technology experience of the new Avalon sedan.
“Pioneering the ability to charge with no wires or connectors by simply putting devices in the car console is an intuitive innovation which reflects Toyota’s continuing commitment to improve the consumer experience,” said Randy Stephens, chief engineer of Toyota Avalon. “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.”
Qi wireless charging is now integrated in 34 mobile phone models, including recent launches of the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920, HTC Windows Phone 8X. Qi-certified products range from smartphones to charging pads, gaming controllers, Blu-ray Disc recorders, smartphone docking speakers, automobile phone chargers, alarm clocks and battery packs, to charging modules that can be installed in tabletops and furniture.
The new dramatically-styled 2013 Avalon arrived in showrooms the beginning of December. This new Toyota flagship sedan features improved dynamics, an athletic exterior design, and a modern yet elegant interior that surrounds occupants with premium materials and a high level of craftsmanship. This latest Avalon is also the first available with Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive that offers a combined EPA-rating of 40 mpg.
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