Tesla Unlocking Batteries to Allow Irma Escape Is the Best Use of OTA Updates

Tesla Model S charging 1 photo
Photo: YouTube screenshot
You've probably seen that image of three hurricanes hovering over the Atlantic and North America at the same time, and if you live on the South-East coast, then it was probably enough to make you plan a hasty trip inland.
With Hurricane Irma wrecking havoc in the Carribeans, it was only a matter of time until it reached Florida. Evacuations are currently under way and some of those people are using their Teslas. Considering what happened in Texas before and after Hurricane Harvey where there were long lines at gas stations as people were stockpiling on fuel fearing price hikes and unavailability, using an electric vehicle is actually a good idea to avoid that.

However, the limited range means the Supercharger network is definitely going to be used, which might create bottlenecks for EV drivers as well. Well, Tesla can't erect Supercharger stations overnight, but there is one thing it can do for some of the Model S and Model X owners.

Thanks to its over-the-air updates and the new policy of installing 75 kWh battery packs on Model S/X 60/60D versions, Musk's company was able to unlock the full potential of the energy storage device which was previously software limited to 60 kWh.

Under normal circumstances, that upgrade would cost between $4,500 and $9,000, but Tesla has decided to lift the limitation temporarily for all those affected, thus extending the maximum range of the vehicles by around 30 miles (50 km). It's not much, but it does show the usefulness of having your vehicle in constant contact with its maker.

As we've said before, for all the horror they bring, natural disasters are also a time of great social bonding between people who otherwise would have ignored each other. It's nice to see the feeling extend to corporations as well, even though more examples would be greatly appreciated.

As for Tesla, it definitely scores some a few points on public image, but we're sure the decision was based purely on humanitarian reasons. And we're also convinced other companies would have done the same if they had the option. Hopefully, these things will become the norm in the future, and not the solitary exception.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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