Technology

Tesla Launched Wireless Phone Charger, But Immediately Pulled It

Tesla smartphone charger
Image Source: webcache.googleusercontent.com (screenshot)

Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk have been acting a bit strange lately, and Musk’s plan to take the automaker private (which he later canceled) is a good example of it. Something similar happened to Tesla’s website, which first started selling a Tesla smartphone charger, but later pulled it off the listing.

Tesla smartphone charger – what it is?

Though the Tesla smartphone charger was quickly pulled, a cached version of the website revealed the details of the charger. The charger is actually a 6,000mAh wireless charger which costs $65 and supports Qi wireless charging. It will be available in two colors, black and white, and offer 21 additional hours of talk time or 18 hours of internet browsing.

Tesla’s wireless charger is a “6000mAh (22.2Wh) battery-powered inductive charging pad that features the same design language used in our energy products, like Powerwall. In addition to wirelessly charging your device, you can also power up your phone with the integrated USB-C cable,” read the description on the website.

Tesla’s charger tops out at 5W. Though it is not the fastest as there are several faster options available in the market, one thing in its favor is that it is portable. Apple’s iPhone X and the iPhone 8 are compatible with the 5W chargers. Users, however, now prefer the faster 7.5W charging mode, which was introduced with the iOS 11.2 in December.

Further, the Tesla smartphone charger comes with a USB Type-C cable at 5V/1.5A, less than the 5V/2A that many bundled phone chargers come with. Also, it has a full-sized USB port, a usual feature with the power banks nowadays. Though one can get the same power or even bigger (10,000mAh) at less than half the price of the Tesla smartphone charger, those certainly won’t have the name Tesla on them.

However, Tesla fans will have to use other chargers for now, as Tesla’s website no longer lists the product. Its URL is now redirecting to Tesla’s e-commerce website. As of now, it is not known why the Tesla smartphone charger was pulled from the website or if it will return to the website again.

A “distraction” at a crucial time

Separately, talking of Musk’s plan to take Tesla private, Canaccord Genuity says it was an unneeded distraction for the company that added risk at a critical time for Tesla. The research firm has dropped their price target on the company from $336 per share to $316 per share.

“What was at best a premature announcement has generated three weeks of distraction from one of Tesla’s most important quarters to date,” said analyst Jed Dorsheimer in a note, according to CNBC.

The Canaccord Genuity analyst is now not too confident on Tesla’s production target, which it declared in the second-quarter, of 50,000 to 55,000 units. Other Wall Street analysts also believe that Musk’s unusual decision is hurting the credibility of the company.

In a post on Friday, Musk announced that Tesla will remain a public company. The CEO cited resistance from the shareholders as a reason for his changed decision.

“Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company,” Musk wrote.

Tesla’s stock has lost about 6% since the time Musk tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take Tesla private.

Distracted Tesla give rivals a chance

At a time when Tesla is grappling with internal issues like production delays and strange CEO behavior, rivals are busy planning their next moves. Very soon, German rivals like Mercedes-Benz and Audi will showcase their production-ready electric sport-utility vehicles, which would take on the Tesla Model X.

Porsche, meanwhile, is working to take on the high-end Tesla Model S with the Taycan, which is expected to hit the markets sometime later next year. Jaguar Land Rover is also expanding its I-Pace electric line-up. All these established car makers have many reasons to push for the electric cars, like meeting tougher greenhouse gas limits, which would be rolled out in Europe in 2021 and China giving priority to the electric vehicles.

Also, a Chinese electric vehicle maker – NIO – recently launched a U.S. stock sale to raise up to $1.32 billion. The company, based in Shanghai, which claims to be an emerging rival to Tesla, would list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in about two weeks.