As freezing temperatures and severe power outages swept through Texas, many Tesla owners used their cars to keep warm. A group of savvy EV owners discovered that you could extract power from various Tesla models with one simple component. As a result, these owners could power their homes and keep warm during these dangerous times.
However, a new statement by Tesla covered via Electrek warns that utilizing your EV in this way could cause serious damage to its electric powertrain. Additionally, you’ll have your car’s warranty voided if the manufacturer finds out.
Powering your home with your Tesla could result in big issues
While you can easily power your Tesla with electricity from your home, this exchange doesn’t work the other way around. As a result, savvy owners in Texas came up with an ingenious solution to power their homes. According to Electrek, the process involves a 2,000-watt inverter.
While there are many connection points in your Tesla, Electrek reports that owners prefer to access the car’s 12-volt system by going underneath the car’s back seats. Since this allows you to get power from the main battery pack, you have enough juice to power up even various appliances.
According to Electrek, this whole solution costs about $170 since all you need to purchase is an inverter from a local hardware store. However, this could cause serious damage.
As Electrek points out in Tesla’s warranty, using your EV as a stationary power source will automatically void your warranty if the carmaker finds out.
You can get into trouble, even if your car’s battery survives
Even if you manage to power your home with your Tesla without damage, you can still run into issues. According to CarBuzz, one owner managed to fry their car’s 12-volt battery. As you’d expect, the manufacturer’s warranty covers these types of defects. However, CarBuzz report that technicians at the dealership found a video the owner posted online showing this home charging system.
As a result, the dealership charged the owner for the repair and went as far as voiding the car’s entire warranty. While this decision is understandable given Tesla’s official warranty limitations, some owners have no choice.
If it comes down to freezing or voiding your car’s warranty, the better choice is clear. Even some Texans who have gotten power back have had to pay up to $10,000 in electric bills, says CNN. However, damaging your Tesla can cost even more.
How could this cost me $16,000?
Earlier in January, The Drive reported a story covering an out-of-warranty Tesla Model 3 battery pack replacement that cost the owner $16,000. In this case, the owner drove over a sharp object on the road, which punctured the EV’s battery pack. As a result, the dealership replaced the entire pack. While the pack itself cost the owner $13,500, labor costs brought up the total past $16,000.
Even if you can repair individual battery cells, it takes a professional technician around 13 hours to complete the job, says The Drive. As a result, powering your house with your EV can be seriously expensive. However, if you must do it to survive, make sure you don’t go bragging on social media.