A Tesla owner says he makes up to $800 a month mining cryptocurrency with his car. He says it’s worth it, even though it could void his warranty.

Siraj Raval described his Tesla as a “computer with wheels.”

  • Siraj Raval told CNBC that his Tesla Model 3 mines bitcoin and ethereum for around 20 hours a day.
  • He called his car a “computer with wheels” and said he made between $400 and $800 a month.
  • But an EV dealer told CNBC that mining crypto with a Tesla battery wasn’t worth it.

The owner of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 told CNBC that he makes up to $800 a month by using his car to mine cryptocurrency.

Siraj Raval, who described his car as a “computer with wheels”, said that he’d plugged an inverter into a power socket in his car and used it to power a computer he ran bitcoin-mining software on.

He said that he makes between $400 and $800 a month, depending on the value of bitcoin and ethereum. Even though it could void his Tesla’s vehicle warranty, which covers the battery for up to eight years, he believes it’s worth it. 

“It’s so simple to hack into this computer car,” he said.

He said he’d also used the car’s battery to run interconnected graphics processing units, which mine cryptocurrencies.

Raval said he spends roughly 20 hours a day mining with his Tesla battery. He said that he spends between $30 and $60 a month charging his car’s battery.

But Wisconsin electric-vehicle dealer Chris Allessi told CNBC that using a Tesla to mine cryptocurrencies wasn’t worth it.

Because he bought his Tesla before 2017, Allessi got access to the company’s free lifetime Supercharging program, meaning he doesn’t have to pay to load up his battery. He said that he used this free power to mine cryptocurrencies but that he gave up because it wasn’t profitable enough.

“Did it work? Yes. Did it mine anything worthwhile to be able to be profitable in any way, shape, or form? No,” Allessi told CNBC, speaking about his experience mining monero. And despite bitcoin’s soaring value, Allessi estimated that the growing difficulty of mining means if he mined it now he’d get around $1 or $2 worth of the cryptocurrency in 60 hours.

“Why would you want to put that kind of wear and tear on a $40,000 to $100,000 car?” he added.

“The difficulty is so high … I could make more money working at McDonald’s,” he said.

Tesla hacker and cryptocurrency miner Thomas Sohmers told CNBC he doubted Raval’s claim, saying he didn’t think it would be possible to make so much profit by mining using his car.

But Raval said that he didn’t plan on stopping mining cryptocurrency using his Tesla. He said that in the future he wanted to make his car a fully-autonomous robotaxi that mines whenever it’s not on the road.