Free Supermarket Crypto Rig. Siraj Raval image source CNBC

San Francisco EV Owner Mines Cryptocurrency Using Free Electricity

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Youtube personality Siraj Raval converted his Tesla EV into a mining rig, allowing him to use a free re-charge deal to mine cryptocurrency.

This Tesla owner says he mines up to $800 a month in cryptocurrency with his car


  • Tesla owners speak to CNBC about how they’ve used the internal computer and battery power of the car to mine cryptocurrencies.
  • San Francisco-based Siraj Raval mines ethereum by hooking up graphic processing units directly to the Tesla car battery.

Siraj Raval has tried just about every way there is to mine for cryptocurrencies from his 2018 Tesla Model 3.

He’s run free bitcoin mining software on his Apple Mac mini M1 and powered the computer by plugging an inverter into the 12-volt power socket located in the center console of his car.

He’s also hooked up interconnected graphics processing units or GPUs to the “frunk” of his Tesla, running these machines off the car’s internal battery.

Though it risks voiding his car warranty, Raval says it’s worth it.

When the price of ether peaked in 2021, he claims he was netting as much as $800 a month.

Profitable but worth the hassle?

Whether Tesla crypto mining proves profitable has a lot to do with when the driver bought their vehicle.

Allessi, for example, purchased his car before Jan. 2017, meaning that he was grandfathered into a scheme where he has free and unlimited supercharging for the life of his vehicle.

In 2018, he estimates that over a 60-hour window, he would make $10 worth of bitcoin, all of which was at a profit, because he didn’t have to pay for power.

But even though it was profitable, it was hardly worth it, he says.

Read more:

Obviously this was just a stunt. Making a few hundred bucks does little to offset the purchase price of a Tesla.

But an “EV” does not have to be a shiny new Tesla to qualify for access to a charging point. A cobbled together EV using parts salvaged from wrecks, or a set of questionably sourced deep discharge marine batteries on a trailer would work almost as well.

As green energy policies drive Californian electricity costs ever higher, as electricity bills become increasingly unaffordable, taking an hour to suck a few tens of KWh of electricity from a subsidized EV fast charging point, then bringing the electricity home and using it to power a decent night of affordable home heating or whatever, may become an increasingly attractive proposition.

Note: RE the image, Siraj was mining Ether, not Bitcoin – but can you remember the symbol for Ethereum without looking it up? I can’t.

Note 2: I’m not encouraging anyone to attempt to do any of this – 50KW fast charge power through an amateur charge circuit lashup gone wrong would be pretty spectacular, and kind of dangerous for anyone in the vicinity.

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January 9, 2022 10:24 am

I vote a 5 star to note 2, and one star for the reality of the pure bored fantasy being played out.
Another example of, just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done.

Reply to  rhs
January 9, 2022 11:14 am

If you are in the UK you don’t need any of that nonsense with electric car batteries. Get yourself smart meter, sign to GoElectric 35 tariff from one of three major suppliers with 5 hours off-peak from midnight to 5 am, it costs just 4.5p per kWh.
The cryptocurrency is not for me, the virtual money is for people with with virtual brains who live in a virtual world of their own.  

Reply to  Vuk
January 9, 2022 11:37 am


Non Fungible tokens leave me cold as well. When we have such silly things it makes you wonder how close we are to a financial crash as we seem to have left reality behind


Reply to  tonyb
January 9, 2022 1:50 pm

left behind on the money issue over a century ago.

Bryan A
Reply to  AndyHce
January 9, 2022 2:58 pm

But an “EV” does not have to be a shiny new Tesla to qualify for access to a charging point. A cobbled together EV using parts salvaged from wrecks, or a set of questionably sourced deep discharge marine batteries on a trailer would work almost as well.

I believe a “cobbled together” EV wouldn’t be “Free” electricity though. The Tesla with the Tesla Computer would be needed to recharge “Free” through their Supercharger Network

Reply to  Bryan A
January 9, 2022 4:52 pm

A response to something I wrote? What?

Brian R
Reply to  tonyb
January 9, 2022 2:30 pm

I feel NFT’s are the Carebears of the 2020’s

Reply to  Vuk
January 9, 2022 1:49 pm

U.S currency, and probably that of all the rest of the world, is no different except only the few anointed get to profit from it.

Reply to  Vuk
January 9, 2022 5:20 pm

don’t you mean virtually NO brains

January 9, 2022 10:29 am

They just arrested a guy in Kazakhstan for running a 30 gigahash crypto farm on what is apparently free electricity… Don’t know if it’s because they’re in the middle of a civil war, but just goes to show that NOTHING from your government is ever FREE.

January 9, 2022 10:30 am

Well you know the best advise for electric car owners is never park it near something you like.

Adrian Mann
Reply to  Terry
January 10, 2022 7:51 am

You could say that for any vehicle, especially ICE vehicles as they can and do catch fire. No, seriously, it’s an actual thing. I may be out of touch and ICE vehicles are now made from asbestos and run on wet sand, EV vehicles are made out of paraffin wax and C4 and run on 10,000 degree plasma… I’ll check.

Reply to  Adrian Mann
January 10, 2022 11:07 am

When did the last parked ICE vehicle with the engine turned off catch fire unless by arson (usually at the hands of some leftie loony, quite possibly during some anti-climate-change-and-fossil-fuel “demonstration” aka drugged vandalism spree)? Sorry I don’t remember, I’m only in my mid-fifties and not that fluent in ancient history….

John the Econ
January 9, 2022 10:36 am

This is why we can’t have nice things.

January 9, 2022 10:40 am

I know people who moved to apartments where the power bill is included in the rent, specifically to mine cryptos. If they had to pay their own power bill they couldnt mine them economically. This way the landlord eats the bill.

Paul S.
Reply to  Klem
January 9, 2022 12:03 pm

No, the landlord doesn’t eat the bill, the other tenants eat the bill

Reply to  Paul S.
January 11, 2022 2:00 am

How does that work? Can a landlord can just randomly up the other tenants rent to cover it???

Reply to  Klem
January 9, 2022 12:53 pm

Universities’ campus managers take a very grim view of any student’s attempt to make some spare cash on side.

Reply to  Klem
January 9, 2022 2:18 pm

It’s not just that, it’s the fact that crypto-mining requires large numbers of computer graphics cards. When crypto-mining became popular the miners snapped up huge numbers of graphics cards which pushed the prices sky high.

Anyone wanting to do some gaming now has to pay a large premium on a graphics card.

It’s affected the market worldwide.

Eric Vieira
January 9, 2022 10:41 am

What he doesn’t consider: the constant charge and discharge cycles of his Tesla battery will also shorten the battery’s lifetime. I wonder if what he has “mined” will pay for that.

January 9, 2022 10:53 am

“Mining” crypto currency? And people think crypto currency has value? Please. Wasting resources to get virtual money isn’t “mining” anything anymore than trading that virtual money for something tangible is valid, although it is being done. This scam is almost on par with Climate Change but I bet virtual money collapses first.

Reply to  markl
January 9, 2022 1:52 pm

U.S currency, and probably every other official currency, is created out of thin air, e.g. from nothing but the assigned power to do it “officially”.

Reply to  AndyHce
January 9, 2022 3:51 pm

Expected retort from those who want to believe crypto currency is just as valuable as real money. Thin air? Land, natural resources, and infrastructure don’t count? Without real currencies crypto currencies couldn’t exist. When they talk about its’ value what is the reference point?

Reply to  markl
January 9, 2022 5:00 pm

You are talking about collateral for federally created debt? Doesn’t exist except for your labor, which you agreed to upon accepting a SSN. Your house as collateral for a home loan is somewhat different.
A reference for private, or public, debt is what someone will exchange for it. There hasn’t been any “real” money in this country for a long time.

Reply to  AndyHce
January 10, 2022 7:39 pm

True, but it’s backed up i) domestically by the US government demanding it from its citizens in the form of tax and ii) internationally via the petrodollar and the fact it’s the world reserve currency. And any leader who tries to upset that particular apple cart will find themselves Saddamed or Ghaddafied.

Mike Dubrasich
January 9, 2022 11:01 am

Rogue crypto mining power thieves are a common occurrence in E. Washington, where railroad cars and semi trailers filled with servers park under power poles to steal juice. Abandoned warehouses and apartment buildings sucking electricity are sure signs. The power companies have had to hire utility cops to address the crypto mining crime wave.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 9, 2022 11:21 am

I know a guy in Oregon who heated his house in winter with his crypto mining rig.

M Courtney
Reply to  John Tillman
January 9, 2022 11:39 am

Actually, I can respect that.

John Tillman
Reply to  M Courtney
January 9, 2022 12:30 pm

He’s SooL in the summer, though.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 9, 2022 12:36 pm

Back in the 80’s we had a DECSystem 20 in a farmhouse here for several years. Moved it to Williamsville. It did keep the place warm…

John Tillman
Reply to  yirgach
January 9, 2022 1:16 pm

That’s a pretty chilly winter environment.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 9, 2022 12:20 pm

Is there some problem with sending a police helicopter, or even a drone, fitted with thermal camera? Exactly as an old school friend of mine does, as a freelance chopper pilot often hired by the local plod in the south of England to get their bird off the ground and take a ride around the sky

Usually of course to look for missing persons but illegal bitcoin mines farms, stealing electricity as they do, would show up equally well as cannabis farms already do.

Even simpler, watch for flocks of pigeons regularly resting/roosting on particular rooftops

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 9, 2022 12:32 pm

Much of the power of the Three Gorges Dam goes into crypto mining.

China would need less coal-fired electical power without such a draw on hydro.

Eric H
January 9, 2022 11:11 am

Eric, Ether symbol is 2 triangles mirrored and joined at the base.

John Tillman
Reply to  Eric H
January 9, 2022 12:35 pm

To me, they look like mirrored pyramids. Or a pyramid and a chevron.

comment image

January 9, 2022 11:12 am

Another Telsa rich somebody who’s found a way to live off the taxpayer. So hip. So cool.

alastair gray
January 9, 2022 11:25 am

Wot? Like incinerating Frankfurt’s entire bus garage

January 9, 2022 11:32 am

Add it to the woke (marketing) list of advantages of EV ownership so we can all watch.

Walter Sobchak
January 9, 2022 11:54 am

“50KW fast charge power through an amateur charge circuit lashup gone wrong would be pretty spectacular, and kind of dangerous for anyone in the vicinity”

Given the propensity of Li-ion batteries to burst into flame, the same could be said of factory standard BEVs.

mark from the midwest
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
January 9, 2022 12:49 pm

Kind of thinking the same thing, what can go wrong when you have to step the power down with transformer that you carry around in your trunk?

Paul Hurley (aka PaulH)
January 9, 2022 12:09 pm

Cut-rate electricity can have many uses. 🙂

Speaking of crypto-mining, be sure to check if your antivirus software has installed a miner on your computer:

Norton 360 Now Comes With a Cryptominer


500M Avira Antivirus Users Introduced to Cryptomining

Ron Long
January 9, 2022 12:12 pm

Am I the only one, or does someone else worry about the mental well-being of Eric as he sifts through the crypto/ether/Tesla/Youtube world analyzing reports that connect to climate change on behalf of Anthony? Maybe abundant adult beverages might help?

paul courtney
Reply to  Ron Long
January 9, 2022 2:08 pm

Mr. Long: I was reminded of the comment some environut made, to the effect “cheap electricity to the masses is like giving a 10 yr old a machine gun” or some such. Turns out the ten year old will choose gaming over the machine gun.

John Tillman
Reply to  paul courtney
January 9, 2022 3:04 pm

My former biology prof Paul Ehrlich, anti-human Marxist.

michael hart
January 9, 2022 12:39 pm

I guess it’s a lot easier than stealing electricity for aluminium smelting. That was my fantasy 40 years ago.

John Tillman
Reply to  michael hart
January 9, 2022 1:22 pm

The closed aluminum smelters on the Columbia River have been replaced by server farms. First was GOOG at Dallesport, WA, across the river from The Dalles, OR. I can remember when the Indian fishing site at Celilo Falls still existed, before inundated by The Dalles Dam.

Next was APPL at Prineville, in Central Oregon, relying upon the John Day Dam. Then AMZN at Boardman, which Bezos’ minions have done a good job of keeping secret, sucking juice from McNary Dam, behind which I used to fish, boat, waterski and, when younger and dumber than now, cliff dive.

Cheapest electricity in the USA.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
January 9, 2022 1:38 pm

An added bonus of server farms/”data centers” in the PNW is that they’re cold in the winter. What’s not to like about cheapest electricity in the USA, and cold WX?

Summer, however, is a different matter.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  John Tillman
January 9, 2022 7:26 pm

The Cloud resides in Prineville.

When I become the next Governor of Oregon, I’m going to institute (by Executive Order) a server tax. The first ten will be free, but more than that will be levied $5,000 per server per year. We’ll rake in $billions from Big Tech. Oh, and we’ll be bunching Kate’s new carbon tax regardless.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 9, 2022 8:30 pm

“The Cloud resides in Prineville” is a vernacular colloquialism. It’s actually in Prineville, Boardman, The Dalles, Umatilla, Quincy, Wenatchee, and other PNW towns.

Also, there is a slim chance I won’t be elected, mainly because I’m not running, mainly because my wife won’t let me. I’m not even governor of my own household.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  John Tillman
January 9, 2022 8:19 pm

The smelters were closed to “save the salmon”. That battle went on for years. I recall the “sacred salmon” hype, when we were all supposed to worship fish.

That’s gone now. It turns out salmon spend 95% of their lives in the ocean, and ocean conditions (e.g. PDO phases) determine fish return runs. But anyhow, the fish worshipers are all on Twitter or crypto mining and don’t care about a dam-free “normative” river anymore. Their ox would be gored now, so they melted into the ether.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
January 10, 2022 8:25 am

Besides, dams and nukes now count as renewables, since wind, solar and biodiesel aren’t cutting it.

January 9, 2022 12:47 pm

How much extra electricity is consumed when doing this? Just because it’s marginally profitable does not mean there won’t be numerous copycats.

Reply to  guest
January 9, 2022 1:23 pm

Cryptojacking mining malware siphoning is far more profitable.

John Tillman
Reply to  Vuk
January 9, 2022 1:39 pm

You are so right!

It’s the Wild West out there.

January 9, 2022 2:16 pm

Youtube personality Siraj Raval has finally discovered a really useful activity for the electric vehicle. Perhaps he also warms his house with the surplus waste heat

John Endicott
Reply to  nicholas tesdorf
January 10, 2022 5:22 am

Well, if he’s parking his EV too close to the house or in an attached garage, he just might end up warming the house a bit more than intended.

January 9, 2022 3:05 pm

Californy has bigger problems than that with woke economics-
‘If not us, then who?’: inside the landmark push for reparations for Black Californians (
The only question is how sustainable it will be with middle class and well-to-do flight that doesn’t feel obligated to pick up the tab for all that sorry money for past generations on top of all the dooming resourcing for future ones. Go woke go broke.

Reply to  observa
January 9, 2022 3:14 pm
4E Douglas
January 9, 2022 3:49 pm

Tulips Chickens, Care Bears , Beanie Babies, etc. Crypto is a fad. This isn’t going to end well.

January 9, 2022 4:51 pm

It’s not free.

January 9, 2022 9:08 pm

In the “You get the behaviour you reward” category we have a winner.
And kudos to the guy for thinking of it.

Joel O’Bryan
January 9, 2022 11:30 pm

Free electricity means someone else pays.
Just like emissions free cars just means the emissions are somewhere else in the world.
Smoke and mirrors games.

Gordon A. Dressler
January 10, 2022 7:18 am

From the article quoted above:
“He’s run free bitcoin mining software on his Apple Mac mini M1 and powered the computer by plugging an inverter into the 12-volt power socket located in the center console of his car.”

Then from the last sentence in the article itself:
“. . . I’m not encouraging anyone to attempt to do any of this – 50KW fast charge power through an amateur charge circuit lashup gone wrong would be pretty spectacular, and kind of dangerous for anyone in the vicinity.”

Pardon the pun, but there is an obvious disconnect here. Siraj Raval is NOT trying to charge the Tesla’s battery pack with an “amateur charge circuit”. Rather, he is just tapping the electrical energy in that battery via the car’s 12-vdc console outlet, petty much the same as plugging a 12 vdc electric shaver into that same outlet.

Assuming Siraj has not overridden the Tesla’s built-in fusing for that circuit (i.e., that he has not bypassed the existing fuze or has has used a much higher amp fuse), he will be fine . . . the built-in fuse should prevent any dangerous circuit overload if his inverter and/or Mac mini M1 creates a short or other high current demand.

Same would apply if he has connected computers (via inverters) in the Tesla’s “frunk” (= front trunk) using a factory-installed 12 vdc, fuzed outlet located there.

January 11, 2022 1:07 pm

I think we should all have access to free electricity.

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