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GM invests $5 million in Powermat, says wireless charging headed to Volt in 2012

Ben Bowers, @@benbowersgp
January 6, 2011
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GM may have filed for bankruptcy back in 2009, but a lot has changed since then. GM's venture branch now apparently has enough cash in the bank to drop five million on a multi-year commercial deal for Powermat's wireless charging technology. The terms of the deal give GM the option to convert their investment into an equity stake within the first six months and provide GM exclusive use of Powermat's technology for one year in vehicles worldwide. Subsequently, the Volt is slotted to be one of the first vehicles receiving the new tech and a prototype version with charging mats in the front consoles and back seat will be shown this year at CES. However, the automaker is unsure as to what other models will receive Powermat upgrades. Micky Bly, leader of GM's electric car development efforts, stated though that initial tests did not reveal any significant issues with porting the technology into vehicles, leading GM to shoot for launching commercial integrations sometime in 2012. The automaker hasn't forgotten its an investor however and hopes other manufacturers will join the wireless charging bandwagon to help drive down costs after their exclusive buffer ends.

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