Plugless, which offers a wireless charger for electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, will soon be moving into Tesla’s realm with a 7.2kW charger for the Model S.
The Plugless system involves a vehicle adapter installed in the car itself, a parking pad and a control panel. A Model S with the Plugless charger will gain 20 miles of range in about an hour, with time from empty to full charge varying between 8 and 12 hours depending on the capacity of the car’s battery. That’s the same charging time as a 7.2kW Lever 2 corded charger. In comparison, Tesla’s online cost calculator indicates that a Model S using a 240V outlet or wall connector will get 20 miles in about 40 minutes.
The charger draws power from the home electrical system using a dedicated 30Amp/240V circuit, and can be either hardwired or plugged into a standard receptacle. It’s rated for eight years of either indoor or outdoor use.
The secret to this smart charger is a magnetic field, which transfers the energy from the transmitting coil in the parking pad a maximum of four inches from the vehicle adapter. A receiving coil in the adapter converts that energy into electrical current. Other companies have similar tech, but Tesla itself hasn’t yet developed a wireless charging system for its cars. The Plugless charger works only with Model S, not Model X, the Roadster, or the upcoming Model 3.
The Plugless charger is currently available for preorder. It is expected to begin shipping in April for rear-wheel drive Model S vehicles, with a version for the all-wheel drive Model S D anticipated later in 2016.