Tesla Introduces Its Own $300 Riff on Apple’s AirPower

Image for article titled Tesla Introduces Its Own $300 Version of Apple's Canceled AirPower Charger

Screenshots: Tesla

Late last month, Elon Musk decided that start a fight with Apple. What feels like a million years ago, Tesla introduced a $300 wireless charging mat that promised some of the features Apple’s AirPower was supposed to include.

The concept for AirPower is simple: A mat that can wirelessly charge up to three devices without scrambling to find the exact placement of the charging coils. The device was expected from Apple in 2017 and fans were left scratching their heads over its absence until the company made it official. cancelled it in 2019. “After much effort, we concluded that AirPower could not meet our high standards and we canceled the project,” Apple said in a statement at the time.

It’s a little baffling that a company with Apple’s resources and talent can’t figure out how to do such a simple task. So it’s reasonable to think that Elon needs a little giant in Cupertino to announce on Thursday Tesla’s Wireless Charging Platform.

Unfortunately, this is just a very expensive repackaging of a charging system that has been around for years. Used by Tesla FreePower technology and giving it a bit of a Cybertruck aesthetic. FreePower licenses its position-free wireless charging design to other companies and it is featured in well-reviewed devices such as Nomad Base Station Pro. In most accounts, it works as advertised. You can drop a device anywhere on the mat and pick up 15W fast charging. You can even slide the device around without interrupting the connection.

A rendering of the guts inside Tesla's charging system.

A rendering of the guts inside Tesla’s charging system.
Screenshots: Tesla

In a 2020 review of Nomad Base Station, The Verge said that it “may one day be the future of wireless charging technology, currently, the current version is very expensive and very limited. ” That device will go for $229 at the time. Nomad no longer makes that model but still offers refurbished versions of it its site for $120.

While FreePower seems to have solved the problem of setting up a wireless charger, you still can’t slap an Apple Watch on the mat. These chargers only work with devices compatible with the Qi standard and the Apple Watch NEEDS even the attached magnetic puck or a MagSafe charger.

So, Tesla has yet to meet the standard that Apple originally set out to meet (simultaneously charging iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods), it never developed the technology, and it charged an absolutely ridiculous price for its mat.

I can’t say for sure that this launch was completely designed to upset Tim Cook. It’s possible that Musk just wanted to get some kind of positive news about the Tesla rollout. The EV manufacturer’s stock price has hit a new high less than two years on Friday as investors Concerns about Musk’s attention to Twitter have reached a boiling point.

There are two major ones Tesla problems: Elon continues to sell billion dollars worth of stock and his right wing politics the extinguish the people most likely to buy an electric vehicle (liberals and people who believe in climate change). The fact that Tesla started offering a $7,500 The discount on two of its models this week only serves to make it worse investors concerns.

An overpriced charging mat won’t reverse Tesla’s fortunes but if you want one you can pre-order HERE and they are supposed to start shipping in February. Just remember that this is the equivalent of charging for a new coat of paint a torch on the roof and called it a flamethrower.


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