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Tesla removes Bitcoin payment option over energy use concerns

Tesla has removed its Bitcoin payment option for the online configurator for its electric vehicles overnight.

It’s not clear if it’s a permanent or temporary move.

Update: Elon Musk confirmed the change was due to concerns over the use of fossil fuel in mining bitcoins.

Over the last few months, Tesla has been delving deep into the cryptocurrency world.

Earlier this year, Tesla invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin and started accepting the cryptocurrency as payment on new vehicles.

More recently, Elon Musk even talked about the potential of Tesla starting to accept Dogecoin as payment for its vehicles.

He polled his Twitter following about accepting the joke cryptocurrency, and millions of people voted for Tesla to get on the Dogecoin rocketship to the moon.

Just a few days after the poll, Tesla has now apparently removed the Bitcoin payment option on its online configurator.

Several people noted the change on social media, and Electrek tried to go through the ordering process to confirm it.

Sure enough, the Bitcoin payment option is gone, and now, only credit card payment and Apple Pay are available:

At this point, it’s unclear if this is a permanent or temporary change to the online configurator.

Tesla doesn’t have a press relation department to ask them about changes like that anymore.

When Tesla first started accepting Bitcoin, we did note that Tesla’s own disclosure showed that buying a car using Bitcoin is not very efficient.

Also, several environmentalists who are fans of Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world transition to renewable energy were displeased by the company’s backing of Bitcoin, which is known to consume a lot of energy.

During Tesla’s last earnings conference call, CTO Zach Kirkhorn noted that Tesla planned to keep using Bitcoin and even keep the bitcoins that it receives as payment instead of exchanging them for US dollars or other currencies.

Update: Elon Musk has confirmed the change was due to concerns over the use of fossil fuel in mining bitcoins.

Electrek’s Take

Again, it’s not clear what is happening here.

It could be as simple as a problem with the payment system, and Tesla is temporarily shutting it down until it’s fixed, or it could be gone for good. Maybe due to the energy use concerns, which a lot of people have brought up.

Tesla could also be updating the system to accept Dogecoin, as Elon hinted to earlier this week.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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