Tesla confirms wireless inductive charging pad is under development

Tesla has confirmed they actively developing a wireless charging solution for their electric vehicles (EVs). The confirmation came from Tesla Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, during an interview about the Cybertruck with Jay Leno.

While Tesla may not have publicly confirmed a wireless charger was under development, there have been several hints this year, even from Tesla themselves. Earlier this year during an Investor Day presentation, the company snuck in an image of a Model S parked in a home garage. At first glance nothing seems out of the ordinary, but upon closer inspection we can see a new charger on the wall that we have never seen before, as well as a charging pad underneath the electric sedan.

At the time Drive Tesla was able to confirm with our sources that the company had in fact been working on developing a wireless charging solution, with the initiative referred to internally as Project Garfield. If the image wasn’t enough confirmation, a few months later Tesla purchased a European company specializing in wireless charging solutions, Wiferion. Almost as quickly as they purchased the company, they turned around and sold it in a process known as acqui-hiring, where you acquire a company for the purpose of hiring its employees. Tesla did just that, keeping Wiferion’s engineers, but selling off the rest of the business.

While the exact timeline for when Project Garfield will launch is still unknown, Tesla has for the first time confirmed its existence. In an interview with Jay Leno, von Holzhausen said “we’re working on inductive charging,” briefly explaining how it would work.

“Oh, we’re working on inductive charging. So you don’t even need to plug something in at that point. You just pull up in your garage, drive over the pad, and you’re charging,” he said.

Wireless charging technology for EVs has made significant progress in recent years, but there are still some challenges and limitations that contribute to its perceived inefficiency. One of the primary concerns is energy losses incurred during the wireless power transmission process. The conversion of electricity to a magnetic field for transmission and subsequent reconversion to electricity for charging results in higher energy losses compared to plugging your EV directly into a charger. However from what we have heard, Tesla’s prototype wireless chargers have proven to be extremely efficient, and will surprise many at the results they provide.

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