Tesla is about to scrutinize Bitcoin’s carbon cost and vehicle range

Tesla is on the rise these days, but two developments could create reputational risk for the world’s most valuable automotive company.

Driving messages: Tesla is increasingly criticized for the climate effects of its large new investment in Bitcoin and the decision to accept it as payment – even if electric vehicles are low-carbon alternatives to gasoline vehicles.

Why it matters: “Mining” Bitcoin to process transactions is very energy-intensive, so promoting its use could add to its carbon footprint.

What you say: Ben Dear, CEO of sustainable investment firm Osmosis Investment Management, told Reuters: “We are of course very concerned about the level of carbon dioxide emissions from Bitcoin mining.”

  • He said Tesla should disclose energy usage related to its Bitcoin ventures.
  • In a broader sense, some analysts see Tesla’s decision to accept Bitcoin as a potential expansion of its use in transactions in a broader sense.
  • According to Reuters, Tesla’s Bitcoin support could “spike the global use of a currency”.
  • The Verge also reports on the climate angle.

Drive the News, Part 2: New research by Edmunds found that five Tesla models they tested had a lower range per charge than the EPA estimates of the vehicles.

  • The analysis, which Edmunds describes as “a real complement to the EPA’s laboratory-based process,” found that the range of the vehicles was 2.5 to 17.4% less.
  • The 17.4% less was a 2018 Model 3 Performance Edition, which had a range of 256 miles instead of 310 in the EPA estimate.

But, but, but: Tesla still had two of the five vehicles with the longest range of the 15 Edmunds models tested.

  • The biggest difference between the EPA and Edmunds results was the 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S, which went 59% further in the Edmunds test at 323 miles.

Remarkable: Gasoline-powered vehicles can also lag behind their EPA estimates. In general, mileage and range are affected by all sorts of conditions and driving styles.

The bottom line: Tesla is on the right track and has become consistently profitable. However, the electric vehicle market is becoming increasingly competitive. Therefore, it is worth keeping an eye on these issues.

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