Every good idea starts with humble beginnings, and this one is no different. Starting with a joke in the Facebook group Tesla Owners Worldwide, members discussed mining bitcoin using the free power provided by Tesla’s charging stations to tackle the cryptocurrency’s enormous energy costs. And one member actually did it, posting a photo for proof.
The group discussion eventually raised the moral question: is it OK to use the free power for anything other than charging the Tesla? Well, that’s not for me to decide.
It does, however, prompt a few interesting ideas regarding both the future of crypto-mining in your trunk and the future power consumption of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming full service entertainment centers on wheels, and when self-driving cars have their breakthrough moment, it would not be far-fetched to suggest that using your Tesla to mine bitcoin could become negligible compared to the amount of energy being used by GPU heavy and power hungry self-driving, climate controlled, movie theater… I mean supercar.
Though Elon Musk has pledged to disconnect the Supercharging stations from the grid –his statement was vague and there has been no timeline implemented. And in the meantime, many of these stations are essentially being powered by fossil fuels. In the classic “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” scenario, let’s assume for now that the commercial tech surpasses that of the infrastructure that supports it.
Electric vehicles, especially the luxurious Teslas, are already being fact-checked for environmental efficiency. Until these solar chargers are in place, smaller, more modest vehicles, powered by fossil fuels or electricity, remain significantly ahead of Tesla’s entire fleet in environmental friendliness.
So where does that leave these bitcoin mining Tesla owners? Well, electric cars have a pretty promising future. In time, it may even be possible to generate electricity while driving, which means that mining your favorite power-intensive cryptocurrency while you watch Netflix on your morning commute may not be outside of the realm of possibility…