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Tesla’s $300 wireless charger uses coils from a company called FreePower

Tesla has preorders open for a wireless charging mat that can accommodate up to three devices positioned however you like, and comes in a form factor “inspired by Cybertruck’s angular design and metallic styling.” The gadget is called the Wireless Charging Platform and costs $300. For that hefty price, you get the mat, a removable magnetic stand that allows you to tilt the pad up or lay it flat, and some tech we’ve called “the most promising AirPower” ever. alternative’.

Under the alcantara cloth cover, Tesla’s charger has a whopping 30 Qi charging coils, charging your device no matter what direction it’s facing or where you place it on the platform. According to Tesla’s site, the device is “designed with FreePower wireless charging technology.” If that name doesn’t appeal to you, it may be because it’s new: the company used to go through Airaand in 2020 we called its (at the time buggy) system “the closest thing to AirPower” we could find.

Photo of a Tesla Wireless Charging Platform with a phone and AirPods case on it.

This photo is not exactly illustrative of the possibilities that Tesla promises, but it does look nice.
Image: Tesla

Speaking of AirPower… a lot from people have compared the wireless charging pad to Apple’s now-cancelled product, and I totally understand why. The iPhone maker also promised an accessory that could charge up to three devices at once, regardless of where they were on the pad. But that was really only part of what made AirPower so interesting; during his announcementApple said you could also use the mat to charge your Apple Watch, and that it and your devices would “intelligently work together and communicate with each other to manage charging through one more efficient charging system.”

Meanwhile, Tesla promises none of those things. That means you can’t use the platform to charge your Apple, universe, or Pixel Watch, as most wearables are not compatible with the Qi standard. And Tesla’s page makes no mention of devices that can communicate to achieve maximum charging efficiency.

However, the question is whether that last point is so important. With a 65W power adapter and the ability to pump up to 15W to all three devices, should Tesla optimize for efficiency as Apple planned to do in 2018? I don’t think that would be a make-or-break feature for me, although the smartwatch thing is a big bummer – the whole point of this type of product is to have one place to charge all your devices, and this can’t do that for many people. (I suspect there are more portable owners out there who regularly need to charge two phones, but I could be wrong.)

Image of the Tesla charging station with two iPhones and a set of AirPods on it.

It would probably be hard to fit a third phone on here, and those AirPods don’t use the full 15W.
Image: Tesla

Not that I would have considered dropping $300 on a wireless charging pad anyway. I just don’t have enough devices to need something like this, and even if I did, I feel like the size of the charger would be limited. If you want to put three devices on it, they’ll be pretty crammed together, making the ability to put those devices anywhere less convenient. And if I’m just charging one or two devices, this type of charger is pretty overkill. Plus, an “integrated” USB-C power cable on such an expensive device is definitely a deal breaker for me, given that I have a Cable chewing gremlin that lives in my house.

The good news is that Tesla’s charger isn’t entirely unique – Nomad’s Base Station Pro made pretty much similar promises years ago and uses Aira’s technology, although charging was significantly slower. (The company seems to have moved on to using magnets to align your devices in the latest version of the base station.) And if you’re willing to give up the ability to put your device anywhere, you can easily get chargers for three or four devices for considerably less than $300. This one from Mophie even gives you little cutouts that take the guesswork out of where to place your device for optimal charging.

But if you’re the type of person who wants to wirelessly fast-charge three devices at once, or hate having to carefully place your phone and earbuds on a charging pad (and you’re okay with giving money to Elon Musk), it’s cool to see FreePower’s technology appearing in more chargers. And hey, even with its eye-watering price, Tesla’s charger is still way cheaper than this deluxe FreePower charger for three devices.

Tesla says the Wireless Charging Platform will ship in February 2023.

Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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