Tesla’s charging mat: How much AirPower is in the Wireless Charging Platform

When the electric car manufacturer Tesla surprisingly announced a wireless charging mat in December on which Qi-enabled smartphones and other devices can be placed anywhere, the concept was very reminiscent of AirPower. Apple had to discontinue its planned product in 2020 due to technical difficulties. Now Tesla has started shipping its charging mats, and initial testing is showing whether another manufacturer has succeeded in what Apple set out to do.

Testers such as the YouTube influencer MKBHD praise the processing of the device, which is quite expensive at 300 US dollars, with aluminum and Alcantara fabric. It also actually works that Qi-enabled devices can be positioned almost anywhere on the charging mat. In contrast to Apple’s approach, however, there are a few drawbacks, so there can be no question of a fully-fledged alternative.

First of all, iPhones can only be charged with 7.5 watts, whereas with Apple MagSafe up to 15 watts are possible. The Tesla charging mat only achieves this value with Android devices. This difference was not mentioned when the announcement was made. Secondly, the Apple Watch is not supported as it does not charge using the Qi standard. Exactly this – the possibility of charging the watch and other Apple devices wirelessly in one place – interested many Apple users in the AirPower promised in 2018.

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform weighs almost a kilogram together with an included base. The base and platform can also be separated – they are magnetically connected to each other. The charging mat connects to an outlet with a USB-C cable on a 65-watt power adapter. As advertised, there are a total of 30 charging coils in the platform, 12 more than the 2020 Nomad Base Station, which is based on a similar concept.

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