As Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida, Tesla Inc. sent a free software update extending the battery capacity for some of its vehicles, giving those owners extra range to flee the looming storm.
Once upon a time, consumers could purchase a Tesla with a 75 kWh battery, which was proprietarily limited to 60 or 70 kWh. However, some of those vehicles are obviously still on the road, and Tesla certainly did the right thing by maxing out their range in Florida. The battery boost for Florida drivers will be in place until September 16.
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The door handles, seen here flush against the body, extend as the driver approaches with key in pocket (if the auto is equipped with the tech package, that is-otherwise, they'll extend when lightly pressed). TechCrunch, reported that the extra capacity should amount to an extra 30 miles which could be enough to help get a driver to safety. If customers wanted, they could pay a little extra to have that additional 15-kWh unlocked.
Another benefit of picking up a Tesla over a standard vehicle for the evacuation was the lack of a queue at Tesla's Supercharger stations compared to long lines at petrol stations. But for Tesla, managing variations using software makes sense, given that the company sells only three vehicles now. Among those were many owners of Tesla vehicles that went on social media and praised the company and their Supercharger system by saying that there were no long waiting lines like on the gas stations.
The hurricane had previously killed 23 people and devastated a series of Caribbean islands.
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