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Hands-on with Tesla's $300 wireless charging pad: It's expensively useful

The Tesla Wireless Charging Platform can power up to three devices at once with no proper alignment needed.
Written by Jason Cipriani, Contributing Writer
Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Tesla may have disappointed investors by not announcing anything new at its recent Investor Day event, but perhaps today's release will change that. 

Tesla has started shipping its $300 Wireless Charging Platform, which features the same design approach as the Cybertruck. The Wireless Charging Platform isn't a normal wireless charging setup. By using FreePower technology, the pad has a total of 30 different coils that allows you to place your phone or any Qi-compatible device anywhere you want on the pad -- no more fussing with perfectly lining up a device with the otherwise hidden coils.

You may recall that FreePower provided the tech behind Nomad's Base Station Pro. That was the first version of a wireless charging pad that allowed you to place a device on it, forgoing the need for proper alignment, and it'd just charge. The Base Station Pro delivered on that promise, but ran into issues just a couple of weeks later when Apple released the iPhone 12 with MagSafe. FreePower V1 struggled with the circle of magnets inside the phones. So, FreePower went back to the drawing board and, with V2 that's found in the Wireless Charging Platform, has resolved any incompatibility issues with Apple's MagSafe tech.

I've been using Tesla's Wireless Charging Platform for the last 24 hours and it does exactly what Tesla and FreePower promise. I've been able to charge two smartphones and my AirPods Pro or Pixel Buds Pro at the same time. Putting two large smartphones on the pad takes up most of the surface area, so I've had some issues finding enough room for the charging case of either pair of wireless earbuds -- but with a bit of shuffling, I've been able to fit it all. 

Also: The 5 best wireless car chargers you can buy

You can place up to three different devices on the pad at the same time and it'll provide up to 15 watts of power to each one. Inside the box, along with the Wireless Charging Platform, is a 65-watt wall adapter that looks like it's part of the Cybertruck, and a magnetic stand that attaches to the bottom of the pad. There are cable routing slots in the stand that make it look a little tidier. 

There's also a single LED indicator light centered along the front of the stand, just below the Tesla logo. The light's used to let you know when a new device starts charging or if there's an issue.


The surface of the charging pad is layered with soft-touch Alcantara.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

And, yes, it appears that FreePower really has fixed its old MagSafe issue. I've had no problem charging an iPhone 13 Pro Max and an iPhone 14 Plus

The first thing I noticed before even opening the box was how heavy it weighed. The entire housing is made of aluminum, making it one of the heaviest wireless charging pads I've used. The hard-angle design, which is also found on the Cybertruck, is a nice break from the clean lines and smooth surfaces that nearly all wireless charging pads feature, but it's not going to be for everyone.

Also: Best MagSafe accessories for your iPhone 

And at $300, Tesla's made sure the charging pad is viewed as a premium product designed for the company's diehard fans. Is it worth $300? Hard to say. It's an impressive piece of tech, and something I hope FreePower is able to bring to more platforms and surfaces in the future.

Would you -- or, did you -- pay $300 for the Wireless Charging Platform? Let us know how much you would pay for it in the comments below.

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