Tesla Model S Now With Wireless Charging – Video

AUG 17 2016 BY JAY COLE 52

We first heard about Plugless Power’s plan to provide aftermarket wireless charging units for the Tesla Model S awhile back, and the company released a teaser video during development of the EVSE this past Spring.

Want to charge your Model S wireless? Here is your chance

Want to charge your Model S wireless? Here is your chance

Now, the company has sent us a video of the complete system in action.

The system is rated at 7.2 kW, which means it will replenish about 20-25 miles of range per hour.

If interested, the system currently retails as an “early bird special” for $2,440 (US) dollars, and can be reserved now with a refundable $244 deposit today.  The regular MSRP will be $3,290.

We asked Steve from Plugless about the expected delivery timelines:

“The first deliveries will be for Model S owners with RWD who have already reserved Plugless, we’ll begin shipping Plugless units for Tesla Model S AWD later this year as we ramp up deliveries.”

As for the next obvious question, we asked Steve about future plans for the Model X.

“Tesla Model X will be a focus soon after that (delivery of the AWD units)”, but the company had no specific timing available yet.


Tesla Model S & Plugless Power's Wireless Charging Unit

Tesla Model S & Plugless Power’s Wireless Charging Unit

Below: Technical Specs

...et le specs

…et le specs

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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52 Comments on "Tesla Model S Now With Wireless Charging – Video"

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Why not !

Very nice…. Now if we could get detailed lab specs for this unit as we did for the last one, it would be even better.

But the early bird price is attractive, and will help people who always forget to plugin.

The units are headed to INL just as we did with the Gen1 Plugless system. 3rd-party testing that requires publishing is important to us. And to-date makes us the only WEVC company with such data…not to mention on a production system. We look forward to other companies coming to market too so we can all expand EV sales together! Charge On!

This is awesome for public adoption. The high initial cost is okay, if you can afford it. Lets remember this is version 1.0. The early adopter buyers are like Tesla Roadster buyers.

Perhaps they can make a Gen 2.0 universal charger that works with any BEV car. The commercial version might auto-detect the car and auto-charge the owner or garage. Hotels and garages could install it in quantity. It would have a handshake that the one that goes on in a Supercharger.

Right now, there are a mess of incompatible charging systems in Europe. A road warrior like Bjorn Nyland has to carry several cards and dongles to make them work. If a single universal commercial charger ever happens, Plugless could go public as a billion dollar company one day. We can only hope. (I bet Plugless hopes too. 🙂

Yeah!!!!! Good job Plugless!
Now i know my Tesla will be plugless, as my Volt has been for the last 2.5 years
Now, an autonomous Tesla makes sense.

How much does the receiver weigh that you mount on your car??

Says about 35 lbs…

how much does the receiver weigh?

The installation on the car weighs ~35lbs.

What is the range of the receiver? I ask because I was thinking of mounting the charging unit flush (or maybe below) the surface of the driveway. Would this also affect efficiency?

About four inches.
Any more and the power falloff will occur at the inverse square. I’d imagine that there is also some range at which it simply won’t recognize the pad.

Nope, the normal operating gap is about 6 inches compared to the 4 inches on my Volt. But i don’t know if the S has to lower itself once parked to get that 6 inches. What is the lowest hight the S can go down thru adjustable the suspention?
I suppose a flush mounted pad to the ground is possible as long as the car can lower itself to keep the 6 inches gap, but who would go as far as to inbed the pad in the ground?

Some of us use our garages for more than just parking cars in. Having a few big tripping hazards is unappealing.

Compared to a cable lying across the floor?

The cable is coiled neatly when the garage is used for other purposes, which happens in ours frequently.

Wonder what the efficiency is here. 30 amps to the vehicle, but 40amps on a 50amp circuit to the charger? $3,000 sure buys a lot of electricity. About 5 years of driving, where I live. Your convenience costs $150 a year in wasted electricity due to inductance field loss. I’d rather have that creepy metal power snake if Tesla ever sells it.

They say 12% less efficient. So if you average 20kWh/day, that’s an extra 2.4kWh, or about 28 cents.

So a quarter/day for not having to plug/unplug.

Thank you, Kdawg. It’s an extra $75 a year for convenience using my figures. I guess then it comes down to the charger cost and installation. When you have multiple EVs, as my house does, this could be convenient, but it would be expensive as well.

In some ways, wireless is more inconvenient for multiple EV households. With a plug, you just have to switch the J1772 to the other car. With wireless, you have to move the cars to charge the other one. Unless you install two wireless stations, which is very expensive.

Only one car can be paired to the CP at a time so each car has to have it’s own system.

August 17, 2016 at 11:25 pm

They say 12% less efficient. So if you average 20kWh/day, that’s an extra 2.4kWh, or about 28 cents.

So a quarter/day for not having to plug/unplug.

Yeah, that sounds about right, or certainly not much more expensive.

This is why wireless charging is going to catch on, despite its inefficiency. As they say: convenience is worth paying for. I think many or most people will say that not having to deal with the hassle of plugging and unplugging their car is worth 25¢ a day, or likely even 50¢.

The fact that it will work supposedly on a 50 amp circuit tends to indicate it is cleaner than the first model, which people seem to like well enough also. But that’s why they need to release testing data.

I suppose they made the system to get a better power factor for the S than they did for the Volt or Leaf. We’ll have to wait for more data.

Does anyone have data showing energy loss due to induction? Some claim loss of 15% but I can’t find any data supporting that. Of course distance is a factor, 4″ v 6″ so how does that affect efficiency? I wonder why this data has not been released?

Here is the short version for my Volt. plugless says the numbers should be very close to this for the Tesla system. Dont forget 12% or 15% of a dollar’s worth is not much. If you drive only 30 miles a day, that’s about 15 to 20 cents a day more thru Plugless:

And the long version:

We *really* need to start thinking about how this sort of charging facility is going to work in a normal street situation. To my mind, the only way we can hope for a complete replacement of ICEVs by EVs (and I don’t mean hybrids) is to come up with a cheap, practical and safe way of allowing every EV to charge at every designated parking spot across the planet. That means having the same system everywhere and for most streets with on-street parking (60% of Europe) this is going to mean all of them having some form of much more regularised parking than the current free-for-all. If this system is the answer than we will have to change all our on-street parking bays to ‘nose-to-the-kerb’ ones and on that basis I do not think it will work. It could be done by having one side of the street only (and this would mean *every* street in every town and city in the world) designated for angled, side-by-side parking bays with traffic flowing behind. If the road isn’t wide enough then the traffic could/would have to be one way with adjacent streets alternating the direction of traffic flow. Local authorities and… Read more »

These were exactly my thoughts. Until Tesla kicked off the autonomous vehicle race.

There will more likely be charging areas where autonomous vehicles go by themselves to recharge when necessary. They negotiate access to the charging pads among themselves and move away when the battery is full to allow others to charge. No need to electrify every parking spot in the world.

Another model is the good ol’ ICE model: drive ’till empty then find a fast charger to fill up in ~10 min. For this to be successful, charging power must evolve to well above 500 kW. That will take some time.

My guess is that both these models will coexist.

I think we are still far from Universal wireless charging yet.
With this system, the car has to be coupled with the receiver. A universal system would not.
So for now, this system is made to replace the home EVSE for the average normal everyday driving with convenience at a small cost to efficiency. My Plugless Volt costs about $30 more a year thru wireless than a plug, well, well worth it. You have to live with the system for a while to fully appreciate it. Same as going from a ice car to an EV, you really get it after using it for a few days.
And the wife enjoys it as much as i do cause she uses the car a lot more than i do (i’m retired), as much as 4 times a day. Thats 8 times a day she does not have to handle the cord. she sure as hell does not miss the plug!
Physics are physics and i don’t think we’ll ever see a completely lossless wireless system ever.

Do you have data showing $30/yr elec loss? Induction loss, cost of elec. My cost of elec is $.20/kwh or $.14 off peak. Please post your data.

In Quebec, $0.08/kWh 24 hours a day. So everage of $0.02/kilometers (3 cents/mile).
So 2 cents per kilometer @ 12,000 klm/year.(7,5K miles/year,(i’m retired))
That’s $240/year + 12% ($28)
My cost in electricity for the Volt is about $280/year @ 12,000 klm per year.

Martin Winlow said:

“If this system is the answer than we will have to change all our on-street parking bays to ‘nose-to-the-kerb’ ones and on that basis I do not think it will work.”

The system that’s going to catch on, for installation in on-street PEV parking, is a system that can be buried in the street, with at most a non-ferrous metal cap (stainless steel?) exposed above the pavement. Or perhaps it will be entirely buried under a patch in the pavement, like those weight sensors at some stop lights.

As you suggest, any system that requires all PEVs be parked nose-in to the curb simply won’t catch on, because it would require widening all too many streets.

It works but the 3290 $ plus the energy losses, that’s a lot. I would really be way more interested in a simple secured contacts based system atop a small raised ground bump accessed by two mini pantographs folding open from under the car. That would be much cheaper and 100% efficient as well as able to work at supercharger power levels and even megawatt level for a true 10 minute charge time on the go. One cheap 100% efficient system for all the situations.

”two mini pantographs folding open from under the car.”
Good idea! But it would still be a mechanical way to charge the car and be exposed to road debris, snow and ice (some people still park outside as i do).
I think wireless is the digital way of charging our cars and anything mechanical is analog charging. Mechanics wear out and break down, no such worries with wireless.

Inductive charging is no more digital than conductive charging but I suppose you actually mean it appears more modern. There sure are no contacts and inductive charging is what I would use to recharge a submarine but conductive can use DC current which has more advantages than no losses. I also note that mechanical keys are still widely used and digital phones are more often charged by mechanically connecting a wire. Pantographs are mechanical but they can be made cool and disappear under a protective door like the present Model S connector. There also remain the single system possibility, home charging low power, supercharging DC and also future higher voltage high power DC. Additionally, since the pantographs are under he car, it would be possible to literally equip all public parking places with two cheap simple contacts while equipping all place with an inductive charger would be far to expensive. Imagine a world where you can park almost anywhere and have you car extending its pantographs to charge, the very same one you would use at home or at a Megacharger, that would be cool.

I don’t see how anything that requires something to be plugged into contacts at street level, where they’ll constantly be driven over, is ever going to be practical. There is already a problem with Tesla Supercharger plugs getting dirty and not making a good connection, and those aren’t exposed to car tires driving over them. Even putting the contacts under a cover in the street, one that slides or hinges open, isn’t going to work. The movement of the cover opening and closing is going to allow dirt and debris from the street to drop onto the contacts. This is one of the reasons why I think it’s inevitable that wireless charging will become the standard. It’s the only practical way to put a L2 EV charger in every public parking space, without needing charging cords which will at worst be vandalized and stolen, and at best will have contacts which get dirty and require periodic cleaning. Wireless charging will allow a touchless system, and hopefully will drive a movement toward a true charging standard, in the way that the DVD format permanently ended the VHS vs. BetaMAX “war”. At the very least, it would end the endless arguments over… Read more »

Who installs the receiver in the car? And at what additional cost? Kind of important questions left out here for anyone considering this accessory. The majority of folks will need an electrician for the rest of the installation as well, but that should be obvious.
Last question, is this approved by Tesla and not affect warranty?
OK, one more question. How much additional drag does this add to the “carefully” designed aerodynamic shape of the vehicle?

For my Volt, the receiver was installed by a GM dealer that was trained to install the system and the install on the car is INCLUDED in the price. GM does not approve the system but it does not affect the warranty in any way.
the system is fully protected with a warranty for 3 years (for my Volt, i have no idea about the one for Tesla)
I have not really seen any loss in range because of drag for my Volt but, i do have the modified mirrors and the Weathertech window deflectors on my Volt so i may have lost 1 or 2 miles of range. Darn physics say so, but i rarely use the highway so, not a problem for me.

Heya Danger HV – disclosures: I work for Plugless AND we did not work with Tesla on this aftermarket accessory.

Most of your questions are addressed here: https://www.pluglesspower.com/pgls_community_post/plugless-model-s-charging-questions/

Otherwise: installation is free to you (included in the price – we train, certify and pay the technicians)

The is no effect on drag whatsoever, as the adapter is installed above the panelling in front of the front tires.

Charge Onward!

Hey Steve, Is there any notification system with these units, such as Chargepoint provides? I don’t want to suggest that points of failure are greater with induction, but would be less fearful of adoption if I knew through email alert that the intended charge was stopped, or stopped before full.

This problem has knocked me with both Tesla’s SC’s and CHAdeMO, where I had no idea amps were dramatically reduced or zero soon after a charge was successfully initiated. Thanks, and good luck!

Thanks for the question PJ. You should know that Plugless changes nothing about the Tesla’s native systems so notifications you would get with the Tesla App will work accordingly. Plugless for now is a home and/or work solution (read: not public charing) solution. However, we do realize that a native Plugless app/ comms is of interest and that product feature is definitely on our radar for the future. I hope that answers your question.

I have found no data on efficiency, can you provide it? Energy conversion can be high and you are converting from elec -> magn -> elec. I have seen claims of 15% loss which seems low to me. Data will answer this if released.

This is so cool, now lets see a video with autopark in a garage.

If there were enough of these wireless chargers around, you’d never have to plug in again. Perhaps on long trips or if you were in a hurry, then you would use the fast charger.

If people want to eliminate gas station stops, this is it. Wireless makes everyone a potential gas station owner. It also eliminates one of hydrogen’s big talking points. With wireless you spend no time at all filling up, and that beats both gasoline and hydrogen hands down.

Electric car detractors always harp on the refill time for EVs, so here’s the answer, wireless. Even with a slight 12% surcharge driving electric will still be cheaper than using hydrogen derived from natural gas and far cheaper than electrolysis hydrogen.

Hydrogen’s last great talking point disappears with wireless charging.

We are so far away from finding UNIVERSAL wireless everywhere, it’s not funny!
Wireless does not charge faster so i have a hard time following your logic here.
What wireless does mean to the general public is much more important, it makes owning and charging an EV the coolest thing around and makes the chore argument of the plug dissapear for neysayers of the EV transition.
It might just be the key to faster electrification. Not everybody is geek enough to get a thrill out of plugging a car, For most of us, pionners, we don’t mind the plug but it ain’t so for the general public.

Driverguy 101 said:

“We are so far away from finding UNIVERSAL wireless everywhere, it’s not funny!”

I agree. On the other hand, when hydrogen advocates say they can refill in 5 minutes, I just say WHERE ????

I think wireless has the potential to spread much quickly than $2 Million dollar H2 “gas stations”.

All the hydrogen advocates talk “hypothetical situations” all the time. So, I can’t see what’s wrong with envisioning widespread EV wireless charging in urban areas.

The article claims you can get about 25 miles from a 1 hour charge, the equivalent of an hour long meal at a restaurant that happens to have some inductive chargers.

Okay, so you drive 75 miles to watch an NFL game. While you are in the stadium for 3-4 hrs, your car is trickle charging from an inductive charger. No need to refuel with H2 on the way home.

I agree with Driverguy that the “Look Ma, No hands” aspect of wireless could indeed be a big drawing card for people transitioning from ICE to electric.

I think wireless charging is one area where Tesla has perhaps missed it and failed to see the potential.

Tesla has been busy building strategic electric fast charge “gas stations” all over the world. That’s Step One.

Step two is cutting the umbilical plug-in cord nonsense with wireless.

No one wants to go to the gas station every day just like no one wants to plug in every day, especially when there is an alternative requiring no gas station stops and NO plugging in.

I completely agree with each statement! This would make the Tesla M3 & Y unbeatable for the average consumer for many years to come. And Tesla’s engineering crew could likely shave off a few percent of efficiency loss by “tuning” their on-board chargers for compatibility with wireless.
EV’s are ~3 times more energy efficient than ICE’s. A few % loss is minimal IMO.
Tesla: Think about the potential customer standing in front of you. To tell them they just drive into their usual parking spot and the car simply – and automatically -recharges itself would convince so many people to buy your product.
Whichever EV maker offers this option first will have the easiest sales experience and highest volume.
(thanks for responding, Steve Plugless)

jmac said:

“With wireless you spend no time at all filling up…”

Er, no. I think you misunderstand. You seem to be confusing this with long distance beamed power providing constant energy to the car while you’re driving.

The range for wirelessly charging with this system is 4 inches from the charging pad to the pickup loop on the underside of the car.

In other words, this will only charge the car when it’s parked directly over the charging pad in exactly the right position.

I think a universal system like this will be what businesses would want to have in their parking lots. Much less maintenance and chances of vandalism.

I do not have 4wd. Does that leave me out?

Has this been approved by Tesla?