Buyers of the 2013 Toyota Avalon can do away with car chargers and their spaghetti of wires, because the full-size sedan is the first car in the world to be made available with Qi wireless charging. The feature is included in a Technology Package which can be specified on both petrol and hybrid versions of the Avalon in Limited trim.

Qi is the global standard for wireless power and charging. In a manner not dissimilar to the Chinese principle of the flow of life energy, devices are magically charged just by placing them on, or near, any Qi-enabled surface. OK, it’s not completely magic – a fair bit of electromagnetic induction is involved.

Supplied by DENSO, the Avalon’s system utilises technology developed by ConvenientPower and Philips Lite-on Digital Solution. All the driver has to do is throw a switch to activate it, place his/her phone on the high-friction surface built into the centre console and charging begins.


Qi wireless charging is now available for 34 mobile phone models, including the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X.

The concept of charging without cables is not new – in 2010, Delphi Automotive and WiTriCity announced work on a range of wireless charging products for EVs and Johnson Controls’ ie:3 concept car featured a system similar to the one in the 2013 Avalon.

More recently, Hyundai previewed its Connectivity Concept, which does more than just charge your phone, but it’ll be some time before that makes production reality.