Tesla betting $76M on Wiferion: the Future of Wireless Charging

Tesla betting $76M on Wiferion: the Future of Wireless Charging

By Nazmia Nassereddine, 18 August 2023

In a groundbreaking move that's set the electrification world buzzing in early August, German wireless charging innovator, Wiferion, has been acquired by global EV giant, Tesla. Though the exact value of the acquisition has not been made public, Tesla’s second-quarter cash flow statement notes a US $76 million spent on “business combinations.” This acquisition could potentially be a game-changer in the world of EV charging; despite wireless EV charging still being in its nascent stages, this acquisition is certainly a strong vote of confidence from America’s number one EV manufacturer.  

Who is Wiferion?

Established in 2016 out of Freiburg, Germany, before it became Wiferion, the company was previously known as Blue Inductive. Wiferion has a simple yet revolutionary mission: redefine the charging system for mobile robots in the industrial sector. With their proprietary wireless charging technology that leverages magnetic induction, they've developed a system that delivers a power transfer efficiency of up to an impressive 90%. Their system encompasses a wall box, charging pad, receiver coil, mobile charging unit, and an energy storage mechanism. 

In the words of Wiferion’s CEO, Sebastian Pape, “Wiferion products eliminate unnecessary machine downtimes and high-maintenance, expensive wired charging, underscoring a vision of efficiency and sustainability that resonates with industry demands.” 

Wiferion has raised a total of US $6.8 Million over 2 funding rounds since 2019, and has 7 institutional investors including HTGF, Nordic Alpha Partners, and German Accelerator. Last year, the company announced its licensing agreement with industry titan, WiTricity, to harness WiTricity's wireless charging intellectual property for industrial applications. 

Incorporating this technology, Wiferion’s inductive charging systems has achieved a staggering 32% increased uptime for AGVs, AMRs, and other industrial vehicles. Eliminating safety hazards associated with conventional charging, Wiferion aims to revolutionize industrial automation by allowing vehicles to charge in-process, thereby drastically enhancing productivity and resilience against supply chain interruptions. 

Wiferion’s wireless charging offers a threefold advantage - safety, efficiency, and scalability. Its inherent safety allows for operation in close proximity to humans and animals, making it ideal for various industrial settings, and scalability ensures that multiple mobile robots can be charged simultaneously, addressing the growing demands of sectors like logistics, manufacturing, and healthcare. 

What is Wiferion cooking up? 

Wiferion recently unveiled the etaLINK 1000, the newest and most compact addition to their esteemed robot charging systems lineup. Measuring a mere 160mm when incorporated into a robot, the unit boasts a size reduction of 36% compared to its etaLINK 3000 counterpart. It also emphasizes high positioning toleration, impeccable maintenance-free operation, and an ultra-rapid power transfer initiation, clocking in at approximately one second. Given its 1 kW capacity, the system expertly powers compact fulfillment robots without the need for physical contact.

“In the last three years, we have sold more than 8,000 3 kW and 12 kW systems – and our customers have expressed demand for a smaller version of etaLINK to power smaller robots, so the etaLINK 1000 is the answer to this challenge,” says Matthieu Ebert, Vice President of Wiferion North America. Wiferion’s primary objective remains: minimize inefficiencies and elevate productivity. With a 93% accuracy rate, etaLINK 1000 ensures a seamless charging experience complemented by an effortless plug-and-play setup.  

Wiferion also recently announced etaHUB, the world's first cloud-based wireless charging platform. Their latest innovation aims to streamline the deployment and management of wireless charging for mobile robots, with Sebastian Pape highlighting its potential to "save time and money by automating many of the tasks involved in wireless charging."

Wiferion, Monday, May 8, 2023, Press release picture

Wiferion, Monday, May 8, 2023, Press release picture

With a harmonious blend of style and substance, the platform beckons a new era where companies can harness the true potential of their fleets. Whether it's the allure of minimized energy consumption, the promise of an extended battery lifespan, or the sheer genius of optimizing AGVs and AMRs through intelligent charging, etaHUB promises to be the cornerstone of modern robotic operations. 

Tesla's Acquisition: What it Means for the EV Space

Yet, Wiferion’s most exciting prospect on the road ahead might lie in its merger with Tesla as the EV legend explores wireless charging options. From enhancing their home charging experiences to possibly integrating the technology within superchargers, semi trucks, or the much-anticipated Robotaxi, the possibilities seem endless and the future looks electric!  

Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, once remarked in a 2020 interview, "I think wireless charging is the future of EV charging." And now with Wiferion under Tesla's wing, this future might just be closer than anticipated. 

Sam Abuelsamid, a senior analyst at Guidehouse Insights, has also recognized the significance of the merger, commenting, "Tesla's acquisition of Wiferion is a major vote of confidence in wireless charging technology; it suggests that Tesla believes that wireless charging is the future of EV charging." 

While the exact figure remains shrouded in mystery, Tesla's Q2 2023 financial report alludes to a possible purchase price of US $76 million in an acquisition which signifies Tesla's intent to integrate cutting-edge wireless technology into their offerings. 

As we stand on the precipice of a revolutionary juncture in electric transportation and automation, one has to ask: What new horizons will this Tesla-Wiferion alliance unlock? One thing is certain: many will be keeping a close eye on this partners, as the combination of Tesla's audacious ambition and Wiferion's technical prowess undoubtedly promises a brighter, wireless future.


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