How to Mine Cryptocurrency with your Tesla Like These Owners

For a recently published story, CNBC talked to several Tesla owners who have mined Bitcoin and other altcoins, including Ethereum and more, using the internal computer and/or battery power of their cars.

San Francisco-based Siraj Raval has tried mining cryptocurrencies on his 2018 Tesla Model 3 using every way possible.

From running free Bitcoin mining software on his Apple M1-powered Mac mini plugged into an inverter drawing power from the 12-volt socket located in the center console of his car to hooking up a mining rig with several discrete GPUs to the Model 3’s internal battery through its ‘frunk’, Raval has done it all.

While his methods may void his electric vehicle (EV)’s warranty, Raval says it’s worth it. He claims he was making as much as $800 USD per month mining Ethereum on his Model 3 when the price of the second-most valuable cryptocurrency peaked in 2021.

Bitcoin miner Alejandro de la Torre told CNBC that ultimately, mining crypto on a Tesla is just like connecting to any other power source. “The main component is the price of the electricity. If it’s cheaper doing it through an electric vehicle, then so be it,” he said.

Mining roughly 20 hours a day off his Model 3’s battery, which delivers 320 miles of pure driving range, and driving the car for a few hours every day gets Raval a week and a half between charges. The miner’s monthly bill for charging his Tesla comes out at anywhere from $30 to $60 USD.

Raval says he had to “hack” into the car to override the internal firmware’s power usage limits for connected electronics, and the miner takes measures like staking the cryptocurrency he mines on investment platforms and not cashing out to USD in order to maximize profits.

The San Francisco resident ultimately wants to turn his Model 3 into a fully autonomous robotaxi that earns crypto anytime while it’s not driving.

Other crypto experts CNBC reached out to did validate the viability of mining cryptocurrency using an EV — and we’ve already seen a Tesla Model S battery powering a U.S. Representative’s entire home with solar energy, but they also cast doubt over some of Raval’s claims.

Tesla hacker and crypto-miner Thomas Sohmers Sohmers told the publication that profits as high as Raval’s claims just aren’t possible.

“The best estimate I would have for the hashrate for the GPU in the Model 3 would be around 7-10 MH/s. Currently, at 10 MH/s, that would generate revenue of about $13.38 worth of ether, before any expenses,” Sohmers said.

Tesla and cryptocurrency have a storied past — not only did the company invest some $1.5 billion USD in Bitcoin at one point (and profit heavily from that investment later on), the EV maker also started accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for its cars in March 2021 — a decision that even influenced a spike in Bitcoin prices. Bitcoin payments were eventually suspended by Tesla over environmental concerns pertaining to mining.