Tesla Quietly Launches iPhone Wireless Charger Styled Like Mini Powerwall

It's an unexpected launch.


Tesla released a new wireless charger on Wednesday, only to quickly pull it from its online store. The $65 Tesla Wireless Charger provides power to iPhones and other smartphones using the Qi standard, using the “same design language” as its other products to make it seem like a miniature Powerwall battery.

The charger, previously available here on Tesla’s in-house website, offers five watts of power over wireless, a built-in USB-C cable, or a USB-A port. It’s about the same amount of power as from a standard iPhone brick, but newer fast wireless chargers can output 7.5 watts. Tom’s Guide found that such chargers can bring an iPhone 8 Plus to 23 percent battery life in 30 minutes, compared to around 16 percent over the same amount of time from a standard Qi charger. Tesla may be known from its speedy cars, but the same can’t be said for its branded accessories.

The battery packs 6,000 mAh of juice. Depending on the device, that may be enough for more than two recharges. The iPhone X packs a battery of 2,716 mAh thanks to a dual-cell system that takes advantage of the extra space from a stacked motherboard. The iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, offers a 2,691 mAh battery in a single-cell configuration. Of course, the charger will do little good for the Tesla Model S 60kWh’s humongous 270 Ah battery.

It’s not the first time Tesla has released a branded product. The company unveiled a $1,500 surfboard last month that can cut through waves with speed, while in February 2016 it released a $400 leather jacket using full grain leather design. The company also sells a $45 Powerbank charger, which doesn’t look like a miniature Powerwall like the wireless charger but takes inspiration from the 120-kilowatt Superchargers dotted across the world.

It’s unclear when the wireless charger will return to Tesla’s store, but owing to the hype around the product, chances are it should return soon.