Tesla’s wireless charger feels like a subtle jab at Apple’s failed AirPower
The Wireless Charging Platform can charge up to three devices at the same time, but it only works with those that are Qi-compatible.
Tesla announced its Wireless Charging Platform that’s “inspired by the angular design and metallic styling of Cybertruck.” While the outside styling looks like it’s based on the Cybertruck, the idea is suspiciously similar to Apple’s failed attempt at a product slated to be called the AirPower.
Apple stopped work on the AirPower in 2019, saying it wasn’t able to get the charging pad to its “high standards.” Rumors of overheating issues swirled around for a while, but other companies have tried to fill the void for wireless charging pads since then. Those companies now include Tesla.
Qi charging only — It’s hard not to look at this as Tesla’s attempt to make AirPower a reality. Still, the Wireless Charging Platform won’t be compatible with Apple Watches. The Tesla charger gives you 15W of fast charging on any device you place on the pad, but the devices have to work with the Qi wireless charging standard. That means you still won’t be able to charge your Apple Watch along with your AirPods and iPhone like the AirPower promised.
The beauty of Tesla’s Wireless Charging Platform is that you don’t need to be super precise when placing your device on the pad. You can also configure the charger flat or at an angle with its detachable magnetic stand. The Wireless Charging Platform runs off a 65W power adapter that connects with a USB-C cable.
It should be noted that the guts of the charger are actually made by FreePower and its free-placement wireless charging system. So think of this as more of a Tesla skin around FreePower’s wireless charging tech.
Tesla tax — The Wireless Charging Platform is already available for pre-order but Tesla says they will start shipping in February 2023. If you’re scratching your head about who would pre-order a $300 wireless charging pad with a Tesla logo, don’t forget that The Boring Co.’s sales for its flamethrower were red hot.
If you’re not interested in spending $300 for that Tesla emblem and design, FreePower has its technology in other wireless charging pads, like the Nomad Base Station Pro. You can only get refurbished versions of Nomad’s charging pad, but it used to retail at $200.