Tesla electric vehicles used to mine crypto, but is it worth it?

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When most people think of Tesla, they think of its bombastic, eccentric CEO Elon Musk and mid-to-high-end EVs that can travel 270 to 400+ miles per charge. However, several people are using the large lithium-ion battery packs inside their cars to mine cryptocurrency, according to a new report from CNBC.

Tesla are point A to point B vehicles, so you would be forgiven if cryptomining weren’t immediately tapped for use cases. However, since the current Model S has a 100 kWh battery, it is possible to harness that energy for mining under ideal circumstances.

In Chris Allessi’s case, he uses a Bitmain Antminer S9 ASIC which is powered by his Model S’s main battery via an inverter to mine Bitcoin. Alessi also alleges that he used his car’s central processor, an Intel Atom-based SoC, to operate Monero using the built-in Tesla web browser. However, we imagine it is not worth it due to Bitcoin’s more successful outlook.

Tesla family

(Image credit: Tesla)

But is it really worth using your Tesla as a mobile cryptomining platform? In fact it depends. For Alessi, charging his Model S is free for the life of the vehicle thanks to Tesla’s vast Supercharge network. This perk was available for all new Tesla vehicles purchased before January 2017. So, in essence, it is able to mine Bitcoin without taking a hit on one of the more expensive components of the cryptomining equation: the costs of mining. permanent electricity.

While it is technically possible to mine Bitcoin with all the required hardware, Alessi argues that it is not worth it in the end, adding, “And right now, even though the price of Bitcoin has increased significantly, the difficulty level too.

For Tesla owners who aren’t fortunate enough to have free and unlimited supercharging, the benefits and profit potential are even more questionable. Siraj Raval, who owns a 2018 Model 3, claims he made between $ 400 and $ 800 a month last year for Ethereum mining. Raval’s setup is a bit more complicated. This involves hacking the internal software of the Model 3 to directly access the processor, then layering five [unnamed] GPU connected to the main battery of the vehicle.

“It’s a computer with wheels,” Raval said. “It’s so easy to hack this computer car.”

But there is only one problem; unlike Alessi, Raval does not have access to the Unlimited Supercharge. So that means he has to rely on charging from the home network, which of course adds to his monthly utility bill. So whether Raval uses his Model 3 to mine or plugs a mining rig directly into a wall outlet at home, he’s paying for the electricity used to mine Ethereum.

It should also be remembered that the lithium-ion battery in Tesla (and all other electric vehicles) deteriorates over time. Tesla estimates its batteries will lose around 10% of their maximum charge [PDF] after 200,000 miles. So for a $ 50,000 long-range Model 3 with a range of 358 miles, you would have a loss of almost 36 miles over that time period. Cryptocurrency mining could potentially accelerate this wear and tear depending on the craziness of the hardware configurations, which again begs the question “what’s the point?” “

“Why would you put that kind of wear and tear on a $ 40,000 to $ 100,000 car?” Alessi told CNBC.

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