Tesla Model S Gets 7.2 kW Wireless Charging From Plugless Power (video)

2 years ago by Jay Cole 46

Many Chevrolet Volt and Nissan LEAF owners (and a few Cadillac ELRs owners as well) are familiar with aftermarket wireless L2 charging provider Plugless Power, as a 3.3 kW wireless charging solution for those plug-ins have been available for a couple years now.

7.2 kW Wireless Charging Has Arrived For The Model S Via Plugless Power

7.2 kW Wireless Charging Has Arrived For The Model S Via Plugless Power

However, more recently the company promised to expand its offerings (and output power) to the likes of the Tesla Model S, and even opened early reservations for that for that charging unit this past February.

Now, thanks to our good friend Steve over at Plugless, he sent us a live video of the 7.2 kW Model S wireless charging system in action.

On average, this new unit will provide about ~24 miles per hour of charging, but more importantly, the convenience of not plugging in.

The next most obvious question – will the Tesla Model X (and Model 3 in the future) also be able to utilize this tech at some point? 

The company says its “engineers are hard at work to bring Plugless to all Tesla models.”

If interested, you can reserve your own 7.2 kW Model S wireless charging system here (and for more FAQs on the set-up – go here).   Units start shipping this Spring (beginning in late May)!

/c’mon you know you don’t want too!

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46 responses to "Tesla Model S Gets 7.2 kW Wireless Charging From Plugless Power (video)"

  1. Rick says:

    Any idea if it’ll be available to order in Europe anytime soon?

    1. Mark Petersen says:

      hi this is the answer from them

      Hey Mark,

      Thanks for reaching out and for your question. Unfortunately Plugless for is not ready for EU Tesla models yet. At the moment we do not distribute outside the North American market due to vehicle compatibility and varying international electrical standards. And the Plugless system is currently only ETL certified in North America and more work still needs to be done to configure Plugless to work on international electrical standards before we can get it certified and ship internationally.

      In reality, this isn’t likely to happen anytime in the next 12 months, but it could make sense to check back in late 2016.

      I hope you will stay tuned for any updates on this.

      1. Rick says:

        Thank you, I will for sure. Would definitely invest in one or in an other automated charging system if Tesla choses to offer it.

  2. MDEV says:

    Great I will reserve

  3. Brandon says:

    Any idea of its price yet?

      1. Anon says:

        This is about $1940 more than I’m willing to pay for a significantly less efficient EVSE…

        1. Driverguy01 says:

          You’re missing the point Anon. not everything in life is about to get the cheapest compatible devise available for your needs.

          1. Anon says:

            If I’m “Fueling” my vehicle in my garage, I I also don’t want to waste any of it, by spilling it on the ground, instead of getting every “drop” in my tank.

            Why pay higher prices for the wireless charger AND in my Electric Bill– for a slower charging speed and higher TCO over the life of the charger?

            It seems supporting my laziness is not worth the price difference plus wasted electricity, sorry.

            1. SJC says:

              Then don’t buy it, the company may not even notice.

              1. Anon says:

                Correct. But now you understand something important– why.

                1. Terawatt says:

                  Your “spill no drops” analogy isn’t appropriate. Wired charging is lossy and so you spill perhaps 3% of your fuel today.

                  Wireless is over 90% efficient. At high rates, it’s as good as a cable.

                  I’m pretty sure it’ll take over in a few years time. The receiver will likely become built-in, standard equipment and hopefully a single standard for the charger will emerge – but that might take a long time.

        2. Scott Franco says:

          “This is about $1940 more than I’m willing to pay for a significantly less efficient EVSE…”

          Wireless is not less efficient. If you think that, then unplug all of the wall transformers in your house, and many of your appliances. They all use transformers, and operate on the same principle as a wireless charger (inductive coupling).

          Now having said that, I cannot help but agree wireless charging is a stupid idea in its present form. It charges at HALF the rate (3.3kW instead of 6.6kW) as a wired charger, and costs twice as much. Also, the manufacturers have never explained why wireless chargers have to be braindamaged like this. The Tesla charger can charge at higher rate.

          Half the performance at twice the price? Sorry, no deal.

          1. VazzedUp says:

            If you read, its not so slow,
            “Now, thanks to our good friend Steve over at Plugless, he sent us a live video of the 7.2 kW Model S wireless charging system in action”

          2. Peter Gerard says:

            The 2016-2017 Volt wireless units from Plugless were recently on sale for about $1,000 but otherwise will retail for around $1,450. These units will charge at the maximum 3.6 rate that the 2nd generation Volts can handle. The pre-2016 Volts were limited to the 3.3 rate. Compared to a traditional plugin EVSE, the wireless charging units are pricy. I ordered one simply because is an appealing idea. I thought of all the reasons not to purchase the Plugless unit. 1. the receiver is permanently attached to the bottom of my Volt. That will add 25lbs to the weight of the car. 2. If I upgrade my electric vehicle, this devise is likely obsolete. 3. There is a 7% spillage as compared to plugin charging (so I have read). 4. My wife is not amused by the expenditure. Notwithstanding these negatives, I decided it will be fun to try wireless charging. Also, there is a tax credit of 30% which will help offset some of the extra costs.

  4. Driverguy01 says:

    And i see the system was installed onder the front of the car, making alignement even easyer than with my Volt. It is written in the sky, my M3 will have this system as soon as it’s available. I just love not having to plug the car. This is going to be the next step towards EV adoption.

  5. Acevolt says:

    This with the summon capability is a great combination. I would like to see the video of it parking and then charging.

    1. VazzedUp says:

      +1

  6. Adam says:

    And for the X?
    Seems to me, with “Summon” and wireless charging (and 7 kW is ample for overnight replenishment) the Tesla can actually deliver on the promise of just being there waiting in the driveway.
    Not exactly a killer app sort of feature, but I will certainly be looking at all these minor, incremental features as rationalization … ahem … justification for updating to a 2017 model vehicle.

  7. SparkEV says:

    This makes more sense for Tesla S. People who can afford $100K car (or even $70K) can afford $2.5K + higher electric bill for convenience.

  8. Bill Howland says:

    I agree with Driverguy01 that price isn’t always the object – people with severe arthritis need this solution, and people forking over the money for a Tesla period probably like the convenience of automatic charging.

    The video didn’t help me much – didn’t mention where the voltages and currents were being measured, but I suspect this was always on the ‘car end’ of things.

    If it can run on a 50 amp circuit, I’d be interested in seeing PF, THD, THCD, voltage, and current at the attachment plug.

    But seeing as it ‘only’ needs 50 amps to make an effective 30, that is already a significant improvement over the original 3 kw model.

    1. Driverguy01 says:

      you are right Bill, PF must have been improved to at least .80 thus the higher price for this system.

    2. Of course, you mean the 3.3kW version.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        No, I meant 3000 watts since thats what the testing laboratory said the power to the car was.

        Its true that the stock car charger is not 100% efficient, so it doesn’t put out precisely 3300 watts either, but due to the requirement of meeting European efficiency standards for the OPEL/VAUXHILL Ampera 5 years ago, I bet its close..

        They claim the new stock 3600 watt charger on the 2016 Volt is ‘almost 10% more efficient’, but if you dissect that statement, there is much less than meets the eye. IF the original volt lost 66 watts, then the new volt only loses something like 60 watts, so the ‘whopping’ improvement is 6 watts lower losses. Big Deal.

        1. Heya Bill, (disclosure – I work for Plugless – and I see I used my full name above in my haste). Thanks, as always in your interest in Plugless. I wish I could explain in detail why the INL sheets have all the numbers to prove our claims, but I am no EE. To be emphatic – Plugless is a true 3.3kW charger, it charges at exactly the same speed as any corded 3.3kW charger. For us to mislead the public (and for that matter, INL / U.S. Dept. of Energy or Intertek who did the testing for our UL, FCC and ETL certifications, or all of our trial partners or the hundreds of certified Plugless installers to join us in doing so) on the 3.3kW charging or the rating of the circuit needed for Plugless (30 Amp) and do so for years and years doesn’t make sense. And by now, after more than 500,000 charger hours – this would have been exposed. We take our claims seriously and readily and often link to the INL data, because it supports our claims and we want to be as transparent as possible. Again, I am no engineer so I won’t be able to parse the INL sheet.

          Finally, on your efficiency comment. I believe you are talking about GMs claim that its OBC 3.6kW is 10% more efficient than the 3.3kW charger. Readers of your comment might think it was a claim we made (it is not).

          1. Bill Howland says:

            “Methinks the madame doth protest too much”.

            Right, the efficiency comment was, as indicated toward the improvement in the wired Volt Charger between years 2011-16.

            The 3.0 kw number came from the test results.

            The fact that this differs from the Madison Avenue Brouchure is not at all disceptive on Plugless’ part. It is close enough to the actual output that whatever is stated in the advertising literature is close enough.

  9. John says:

    I’m actually kind of surprised that Tesla didn’t develop their own wireless charging…

    Also makes me wonder if it will be an option on the ≡.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      I suspect for the same reason that many of us are not interested. He is an engineer and he dislikes the inefficiency of it.

      They are working on that snake thing (which is pretty cool).

      1. Priusmaniac says:

        The snake system could work at a supercharger but it is not possible to pay for that in your garage. There needs to be a contact based under the car connection system that allow low power at home and high power at a megacharger.

  10. Rick Henderson says:

    What if you could have the same convenience but with no additional loss – that is to say with a plug, but without a cord? Our patent hasn’t yet published so for now we are still keeping things under wraps. Problem – how does one judge interest?

    So, would you be interested in a cost effective system that allows the car to plug itself in? (We are hoping the cost will be equivalent to the Tesla High Power wall “charger”. It would also allow humans to park their car – in the garage or at the supercharger, assuming Tesla took it on.)

    Thoughts?

    1. Our company has been considering just such a system, also.

      Instead of wireless, and the accompanying additional vehicle weight and expense, plus loss of charge efficiency, consumers really only want hands-free.

      So to answer your question as a potential competitor, I think there is a large market for a significantly lower cost product that has none of the charge losses and is hands-free. But I would also find that people will still buy inductive / wireless charging if it were the same or similar cost.

      It certainly doesn’t take a patent to make any of that happen 😉

    2. We very much look forward to the competition gents. Best of luck!

  11. Brandon says:

    I could research this myself, but for the sake those who might wonder here, what’s all involved in installing the wireless components in the car?

    1. Installation on the Tesla is included in the price, we pay the installers who must be trained and certified by Plugless.

  12. Matt says:

    Does this work for D models or only non-D?

    1. RWD in the short term – AWD later this year.

  13. Hector says:

    At 24 miles an hour top speed when the battery nears getting full, one may notice a severe decrees in charging from, 24 to less than 12 or 15 miles an hour.

    TEN SECONDS TO PLUG my HPWC charge at almost three times faster, will no spillage.

    Buy what you want

  14. LOL says:

    Initially every new tech carries higher cost and some losses. In time all if issues are to be addressed. One of many prepping highly efficient system for the upcoming Model 3 is Elixwireless Canada. We have to wait for a year or so to see the offering.

  15. Bernhard says:

    Is there information on compatibility between competing wireless systems?
    E.g. having System A installed in my car and the hotel offers only system B and the shopping mall system C…
    Is there already an initiative to standardize wireless charging?

    1. Terawatt says:

      I’m not aware of any. But I reckon CharIN will be the first to propose and then apt such a standard. If they do, everyone else will simply have to adapt, due to their heavy manufacturer support.

      It’s going to be interesting to see what Tesla’s relationship to CCS will be in the future. I for one hope we’ll get to a single standard as early as possible. Just such a shame the CCS plug and resulting cable is such a mess.

      1. I have to admit that I find it odd that every time somebody says we need a single standard of charging, they automatically assume it must be CCS or a CCS like product promoted by German auto manufacturers.

        It seems to be an almost universal response.

        Yet, for yourself, you recognize the severe limitations of CCS.

        I submit that CCS itself will have several iterations as they already have at least two. Even among CCS participants, they can’t get 100% universal compatibility.

        So, while I doubt we will have anything even close to a universal plug (and certainly not from CCS), The world will be just fine with regional players all doing their own thing, in addition to multiple standards from one charger as we have today with gasoline and diesel.

  16. Nick says:

    So, instead of plugging in we now have to park the car within several inches of the hot spot. Easy. If it is so convenient why no one has ever considered this solution for refueling ICE cars where the hose is often dirty and smells of petrol? Is it because no one cared?

    As for efficiency, the problem is not in the amount of energy that ends up in the battery (although it also is important) but where do the the losses go. In wired chargers losses are converted into heat, in wireless ones a fraction of energy ends up heating up objects around (including you) or, worse, being radiated out. This is the main reason wireless chargers can only manage 1/10 of the power output of wired ones.

  17. William says:

    For home use, this is a serious waste of energy to lose another 15% on top of the 15% wall to battery losses in the On board charger. So if you like paying more to put energy in your car for the convenience of not plugging in – then maybe it’s worth it, I’ll plug in thank you. I charge at 9.6 kW with the Mercedes B250e and a 40 Amp EVSE. However, if my car were already wireless capable, and it was standardized, this would be nice for public charging. I think with wireless you are using 8-9 kW at the wall to get 6.6 kW into your battery. With a J1772 Level 2 cable it’s probably 7.2 kW at the wall to get 6.6 kW energy into your battery.

  18. Jeffrey Songster says:

    Perfect to use summons feature… perfect for fleet cars to ensure they are charged for next use without drivers understanding it. Park on spot…car is charged. Seems a good solution. Same basic thing is upcoming for next LEAF. Glad to hear they are at 7.2 instead of previous slow charge rate.

    1. VazzedUp says:

      +1, yes, ideal for fleets and in the future cleaning up cords in city parking areas, and to essentially make the system vandal proof.

  19. Joe says:

    Put a replaceable teflon sheet on it and have it lift the car a little and also help guide the car into position so there is very little power loss from the gap/alignment. Also put the coil off the floor so it doesn’t heat up the re-bar that is under the slab and get metal away from the upper car area. No standard should be considered until this is perfected so get on it quick! And consider if they built this into miles of road so you could charge a little while driving certain highways with solar panels all along the way!