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.
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 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.