Tesla has just released a new product but this time is not an automobile or a rechargeable battery. It is a charging mat that can be used for Qi-supporting devices that costs $300 and can take up to three tightly-fitted smartphones.
The company’s product page describes the mat as one that features an “angular design and metallic styling” that resembles the iconic Cybertruck – the widely-awaited Tesla’s futuristic pick-up truck.
The technical specifications indicate that the charger can provide up to 15 watts of power. It is powered by FreePower® and it is only available in black. Both smartphones and earbuds can be charged by using Tesla’s new product. Online sources indicate that the majority of Qi-supporting devices out there are from Apple (AAPL), Samsung, Huawei, Sony, and LG.
Tesla’s charging mat can be pre-ordered from the firm’s online store and the first units are expected to be shipped in February 2023.
What is FreePower®?
Formerly known as Aira, FreePower is a company that develops wireless charging technology. Perhaps some remember Aira from the popular TV show Shark Tank as its founders, Jake Slatnick and Eric Goodchild, secured a $500,000 investment from Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, and Rober Herjavec in exchange for 15% of the company’s equity during the show’s 11th season.
According to the website The Shark Tank Blog, Herjavec is the only investor who is still on board. As of November this year, the company was reportedly earning around $4 million in annual revenue according to the website.
Its main product is the FreePower® technology, which consists of a set of coils that can be used to create charging surfaces of any size. Existing technologies require that the devices are precisely aligned with the charger. Meanwhile, FreePower® powers the whole surface and allows users to place the device in any position.
The company offers the possibility of creating customized charging pads for third parties that can take from one to three devices. In the case of Tesla (TSLA), its charging mat is a 30-coil product, meaning that it features the most advanced FreePower® technology in terms of the number of devices that can be supported at once.
Why is Tesla Now Selling a Charging Mat?
It is unclear why Tesla has entered this particular market as this is a big stretch from its core business, which is producing and selling electric-powered vehicles and solar panels for homes and businesses.
In 2017, Apple announced the launch of a similar product called AirPower but it later on canceled the project as the firm’s prototype failed to live up to the firm’s “high standards” said a spokesperson for the Cupertino-based tech company back then.
Some experts believe that Apple could be Tesla’s fiercest rival in the growing EV market if it eventually launches an automobile that has similar capabilities. After all, the company founded by Steve Jobs is known for developing high-end products that are typically one step ahead in terms of technological features, design, and overall user-friendliness.
This new mat from Tesla could considered a statement from the company that it has the resources and capabilities to do what Apple couldn’t.
Tesla stock is down 65% thus far in 2022 as its CEO, Elon Musk, has sold billions of dollars worth of the firm’s common shares to finance his side dealings including the purchase of Twitter.
Sources indicate that the billionaire has taken out approximately $23 billion via stock sales since April this year with the last chunk being disposed of in mid-December when 22 million shares valued at around $3.6 billion were sold to market participants.
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