Last week, Apple gave GadgetGuy.com.au a preview of a new gadget that we think will revolutionise the automobile industry.

The Hybrid iCharge is a joint effort by Apple and Toyota to bring a stable way of recharging new energy efficient autos with the ease of playing back your music.

Toyota's charge screen will flash on screen on your iPhone for a few seconds before sending you back to the main menu. The system is iPod compatible, too.
Toyota’s charge screen will flash on screen on your iPhone for a few seconds before sending you back to the main menu. The system is iPod compatible, too.

Using a special version of the iPod dock connector, positioned on the dashboard of the new Hybrid Camry, users will be able top up their car’s charge using the remaining power of their iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad.

Interestingly, the recharge process won’t interrupt your music playback making it just that much easier to fuel up your car.

“This marks a revolutionary step for the automobile industry,” Apple has been quoted. “Today we can move forward with a stable and easy to use portable power supply.”

Whenever you see this, you know you can charge your car with your iPod.
Whenever you see this, you know you can charge your car with your iPod.

We went hands-on last week with this exciting new concept:

The GadgetGuy team was given a Hybrid Camry, which had an empty tank, and a 3GS iPhone. All we had to do was plug the iPhone into the dash cradle and the car picked up on the battery source. The Camry’s multi-function LCD screen displayed the words “iCharge connected”, and almost instantly, (there was a slight lag), our car crept forward.

While the Hybrid Camry can only hit speeds up to about 40km/h running solely on its electric motor, we were able to drive it around the track a few times, expecting both our iPhone and the car to conk out and die. Interestingly, neither did.

The Toyota Hybrid iCharge engine concept.
The Toyota Hybrid iCharge engine concept.

It’s expected that the Toyota Hybrid iCharge system will be installed into all new Hybrid Camry and Prius cars moving on from late 2010. However those customers already with a Toyota Hybrid car will be able to make an appointment with an Apple Mechanic once the iCharge is released later this year.