Owners Facing Consequences for Using Tesla Vehicles as Power Supply

As The Next Avenue reported last week, in the face of blackouts following a snowstorm of epic proportions, some Texans turned to Tesla Powerwall to keep power in their homes. 

Some Tesla owners who do not own Tesla’s Powerwall were a little more crafty and figured out a way to power some devices using their Tesla vehicles.

A seemingly genius idea during some massive and extremely cold power outages. However, some unlucky Tesla owners are finding out the hard way that Tesla is voiding its warranty if you try to power your home with your EV’s battery pack.

Tesla vehicles are not equipped with bidirectional charging which enables vehicle-to-grid or vehicle-to-home features. However, some Tesla owners figured out that plugging a 2,000-watt inverter to your car’s 12-volt battery enables you to use the power from the main battery pack to power several devices on the inverter.

Infamous Tesla Hacker Green took to Twitter to relay the bad news:

Tesla owner Bob Schatz described his own setup in a post on the Tesla Owners Club Portland Facebook group: “So if you are out of power from the storm you can power parts of your home from your car. here I’m using a 2,000 watt inverter from Harbour Freight for $170. Connect to your battery, the shorter the wires the better. Then I have an extension chord to my gas furnace to power the blower and furnace computer. That alone draws about 1,100 watts. Then I still have enough for my refrigerator and a few lights.”

Green noted that it is actually better to connect to the 12-volt system through the penthouse under the backseat.

A great find by Schatz that was surely beneficial in a very difficult situation, has now turned sour. After rigging his vehicle to supply power to other devices, the vehicle began sending alerts that the 12-volt battery needed to be replaced. When taken to a service center, the center said that the battery was reading strong. The service center ultimately said the battery would need to be replaced, however it would not be covered under warranty as they found the vehicle owner’s post on Facebook. The owner was told his setup voided the vehicles warranty.

As clear as day, you can see that Tesla’s warranty states that the using your vehicle “as a stationary power source” voids the vehicles warranty. Unfortunate that some clever craftsmanship during an emergent time is now being reprimanded. 

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