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2013 Toyota Avalon
Toyota is expected to release the first car to include a wireless charging mat for mobile phones.
The feature, which is expected to go mainstream in car manufacturing, makes use of a new charging standard known as Qi. The way Qi works is via magnetic induction, transmitting energy over a magnetic field.
The Wireless Power Consortium, whose members include Nokia, HTC, Samsung and Sony, agreed in 2008 to have an open standard for Qi. This means that any Qi-enabled handset can be powered by any Qi charger, regardless of the brand.
Although several mobile phones have already integrated Qi wireless charging, such as the LG Google Nexus 4 and the HTC Windows Phone 8X, other mobiles are not yet compatible with this technology. However, battery maker Energizer now offers a sleeve that can be fitted over phones to enable wireless charging.
Toyota plans to debut the feature in their 2013 Avalon sedan, which is said to include a space below the dashboard for storing electronics. This feature is made available through a $1,950 "technology package." The company is also planning to include wireless charging mats in two other car models, which have yet to be named.