Not only can you buy an electric vehicle with bitcoin, but you can also charge one with the distributed virtual currency.
Newport Beach Lamborghini has taken bitcoin as payment for a Tesla Model S sedan. It also plans to continue accepting it for payment for its stock of performance vehicles.
And electric vehicle (EV) owners can now recharge their car’s battery using a Miami station that will only take BTC.
“We have a Tesla Model S and charging station purchased from bitcoin investments and only accept bitcoin,” said Michael Sholl, a network security engineer by trade and the owner of the charging station at his home in Miami, Florida. “There were zero chargers within several miles of my home and thought it would be fun to set this up as an experiment.”
“Bitcoin paid for the car and charger and it seems appropriate to support the bitcoin economy that paid for these benefits,” he said.
According to Sholl’s information on Recargo, which maps out EV charging locations, the price per charge is $10. Sholl told CoinDesk that the process works like this:
- Customer calls to make a reservation
- They accept or reject the reservation based on availability
- Customer arrives and is greeted
- Customer sends payment to either randomly generated code for the specific transaction, or general code posted by the charger if nobody is physically available to take payment
- Customer plugs in the 100-amp connection and charges their vehicle
The charging station’s BTC payment system uses Coinbase. In fact, when the bitcoin payment processor realized that it would be used to refuel EVs, it tweeted out this message.
Sholl believes bitcoin provides better peace of mind than other methods of payment for EV recharging. This is especially true with cash, whereby “folks might assume we have cash on-site. This assumption is not good for the security of my fiancee and two-year-old,” he said.
He also said that the payment process is so simple and doesn’t require any human interfacing while he is away from his home for work.
“It’s easier to take payments while I travel for work [since the] QR code is posted on the side of the house near the charger.”
Sholl was quite an early adopter and believer in bitcoin.
“I realized the potential of bitcoin in October of 2012 after reading the whitepaper and purchased several thousand BTC at that point in time. No regrets since then despite the perceived volatility of bitcoin,” he said.