Wireless charging is slowly moving into the mainstream, and now that includes cars, as Chrysler has announced a new conductive charging system for the 2013 Dodge Dart. The charging mat comes built into the car's center console, and it requires a special phone case to work, which Chrysler says will be available for "a variety of smartphones." The system uses conductive charging much like what you'd find in pads made by WildCharge, and will start charging your phone once the car is turned on. It will also be pretty expensive — the option will run you $199.99 (case included), and that doesn't include installation.
There's no word on how much additional phone cases will cost and it looks like Chrysler's solution is proprietary, so it won't be compatible with existing brands like Powermat or Qi. GM has been promising a similar feature for vehicles like the Chevy Volt for some time, after it invested $5 million in Powermat at the beginning of 2011. However, its solution would use inductive charging, which uses an electromagnetic field to transfer energy between a charger and a battery — as opposed to conductive charging, which simply needs connectors on the back of a device to be touching the pad. Unfortunately, inductive charging also needs the battery and charger to be aligned, which would make it a bit more of a headache for a moving vehicle. Chrysler's system will only be available on the Dart for now, which is launching in the second quarter of this year.