2016 Skoda Octavia and Superb Get Wireless Phone Charging

Skoda has decided to join the hip group of automakers that offer wireless charging in cars. There's no more searching for USB ports and worrying about cables that get in the way. The new system is part of the Skoda Phonebox that will be available as an option starting April 2016.
2016 Skoda Octavia and Superb Get Wireless Phone Charging 1 photo
Photo: Skoda
As expected, only the cool Skodas are getting this convenience feature, namely the Octavia and Superb. The Fabia and Rapid will just have to wait a few more years.

Wireless charging uses induction to send electricity from the car to the smartphone. There's a coil in the car and another one in the phone if you have a good one. They also talk to each other to deliver the optimum amount of current and not set your device on fire.

It's worth noting that the wireless charging feature is part of the Phonebox that was already available. This option includes a planar array that communicates interacting with the smartphone via near-field coupling and transmitting signals to the car antenna. Basically, it's there to make hands-free conversation cristal-clear.

Many smartphones by Google, Blackberry, LG, Nokia, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony already feature Qi technology and are compatible with Skoda. However, iPhones need an ugly case. Thank you, Apple!

Induction charging is based on physics that you learn in school. If you wrap a coil around a nail and run current through it, it turns into a magnet. It works the other way around too. By moving a magnetic flux through a coil, you create electricity by forcing the electrons to move. This, in turn, can be used to fill the battery of the phone.

The technology has been used to wirelessly power artificial hearts. However, it's kind of limited to phones in the consumer electronics market. The coils need to be very close for the system to work, and this transfer is inefficient. That's not a problem for the tiny phone battery, but it's not great for big appliances. For this same reason, wireless charging for cars is tricky and expensive.

Chrysler, Dodge, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Chevrolet and Audi all offer wireless charging on some models. There are also aftermarket solutions, such as the system ZENS made to fit inside the cup holder.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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