Wireless charging is increasingly common in modern smartphones, and there’s even speculation that Apple might ditch charging via a cable entirely in the near future. But the slight convenience of juicing up your phone by plopping it onto a pad rather than plugging it in comes with a surprisingly robust environmental cost.
Wireless chargers lose a lot of energy compared to cables. They get even less efficient when the coils in the phone aren’t aligned properly with the coils in the charging pad, a surprisingly common problem.
In my tests, I found that wireless charging used, on average, around 47% more power than a cable.
The energy loss from wireless charging shouldn’t come as a surprise. But convenience will always outweigh the disadvantages for most people. But, as wireless charging becomes more ubiquitous, the issues raised in this piece become more apparent.