As Floridians in the path of Hurricane Irma rushed to evacuate last week, Tesla pushed out a software update that made it a bit easier for certain Model S and Model X owners to get out of the state.
Tesla sometimes sells cars with more hardware battery capacity than is initially available for use by customers, offering the additional capacity as a subsequent software update. For example, Tesla has sold Model S cars rated 60D—the 60 stands for 60kWh of energy storage—that actually have 75kWh batteries. Owners of these vehicles can pay Tesla $9,000 to unlock the extra 15kWh of storage capacity.
But last week, Tesla decided to temporarily make this extra capacity available even to Floridians who hadn't paid for the upgrade to ensure they had enough range to get out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the change to Eletrek. The extra 15kWh should give the vehicles an additional 30 to 40 miles of range.
Presumably, their vehicles will get a downgrade once hurricane season is over.
It's a reminder of just how much power Tesla wields over its customers' vehicles. Tesla has had the ability to push out over-the-air updates for several years. Other car companies are working to catch up, but a big obstacle is state laws requiring vehicle upgrades to be done through dealerships. Tesla has skirted these laws by avoiding building a dealership network in the first place.Read More...
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