The mining of cryptocurrencies requires large processing power and specialized computing hardware. Currently, the miners have moved on to specialized computer chips (ASICs) that perform repetitive math problems millions of times per second to verify Bitcoin transactions on the network.
However, the devices use large amount of electricity – the entire Bitcoin network now uses more energy than all of Ireland. Therefore, miners are largely prevalent in countries with access of cheap electricity.
How to mine Bitcoin with Tesla
China, which has the highest concentration of Bitcoin miners, largely use ultra-cheap hydro power. While in Europe, miners have been experimenting with cheap wind power.
Tesla as cheap source of electricity
Now one Tesla owner is installing mining rigs in the trunk of his car to take advantage of the free electricity provided to some Tesla owners. The picture posted to a Facebook group shows that there are four motherboards and four power supply units mounted on pieces of plywood. The cords are attached to several GPUs which are attached to a single motherboard.
Tesla mining power consumption
If we assume that each of the GPUs in the Tesla rig draws around 150 watts, then assuming 16 GPUs, they draw a total power of 2.4 kilowatts per hour (or 57.6 kilowatt hours per day for 24 hours).
Considering that a Tesla Model S gets around 3 miles per kilowatt hour, running the rig for a day is equivalent to 57.6 kilowatt hours x 3 miles per kilowatt hour, or 173 miles in the Tesla. According to the Federal Highway Administration, the average American drives around 260 miles a week.
Thus, running the cryptocurrency mine out of Tesla for one and a half day would use equivalent energy as driving Tesla for a full week.
Free electricity for mining
However, drivers who have access to Tesla’s unlimited free energy program (Telsa bought before January 2016) with access to electricity with the Supercharger network would be able to mine using free electricity.
According to Cryptocompare profitability calculator, if the Tesla rig was used to mine Ethereum, it would result in about 0.05 Ether per day (or equivalent to nearly $23, going by current price of $450). In a month, this should result in $675 in profit. It is equivalent to the monthly lease for a Tesla Model S.
Although this does not take into account the price of the mining rigs, which likely cost about $1,000 each depending on the quality of GPUs.
Additionally, the miner would have to keep it running 24/7 for it to pay for itself.
Feasibility to mine in a car
Mining of cryptocurrencies with this many GPUs running in the car would be very hot, meaning that mining would only be feasible while the car was parked at a recharging station and the driver was not in the vehicle.
Furthermore, it’s not the GPU that the Supercharger network is meant to power and therefore, some might argue that it is ethically wrong to use Telsa’s free electricity to power mining rigs instead of long distance driving.
Among other concerns, there is the possibility that the mining rig could produce lots of heat that could damage the car’s internal parts over time. Additionally, the car’s battery pack could also be easily damaged when used continuously for Bitcoin mining.