Tesla has revealed the Wireless Charging Platform, a $300 mat that can charge up to three gadgets at the same time. The mat can deliver up to 15W of charging power to each Qi-enabled wireless device, such as an iPhone, Android, or a pair of AirPods.
Pre-orders for the mat are now live on Tesla’s website, and shipping will begin in February 2023.
A charging mat may appear to be a tangential offering from Tesla, but it is most likely part of the company’s bigger product strategy, which has already offered tequila and a phone charger. The mat’s design was inspired by Tesla’s upcoming Cybertruck, according to Tesla.
Apple cancelled plans for a similar product named AirPower in 2019 because it did not fulfil the company’s criteria.
AirPower, like Tesla’s charging mat, was meant to charge three products at once, including wearables, which aren’t normally compatible with Qi, an inductive wireless charging technology.
According to the Verge, Tesla’s Wireless Charging Platform is incompatible with the Apple Watch. Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, said in a statement to Insider in 2019: “We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward.”
While Apple has delayed the launching of items that do not meet its standards, a complete cancellation is unusual in Apple’s history.
Insider stated at the time that well-known Apple blogger John Gruber theorised that the device’s multi-coil architecture was growing “too hot.” According to TechCrunch, the coils likely overheated due to their near proximity and “required very, very cautious power management.”
Tesla’s mat has a whopping 30 Qi charging coils designed by FreePower, the company that developed the technology behind another AirPower competitor in 2020.
Meanwhile, the MagSafe charger is the closest thing Apple has released to its original goal. It charges phones with magnets, starting with the iPhone 12 and going up.
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