Due to the dangerous situation hitting the American Southeast, Tesla sent out an over the air update to help drivers of their cars escape Hurricane Irma as it hit the southern part of the Florida and began heading north. The update sent out unlocked the full capacity of the batteries in Model S and X vehicles with 60 and 70 kilowatt-hour power plants. This gave drivers as much as 40 miles over the normal range, helping people put more miles between them and the deadly storm as they tried to make their escape.
Per charge, the Tesla 60 and 60D have a 200 mile range. One of the customers of Elon Musk’s electric vehicle (EV) company contacted them saying that in order to make it out of the mandatory evacuation zone, they would need an additional 30 miles of range. The company responded by issuing an update to all the drivers in Florida, giving them access to the full 75 kWh capacity of their EV’s until September 16, then it will revert back to the standard rating. Word also came out that owners of the 70kWh cars also saw the boost to 75 kWh.
The 60D Model X and the 60 and 60D Model S vehicles were introduced last year as a cheaper version of the higher end vehicles. They all have a 75 kWh battery, but only have access to 80 percent of the capacity due to a software lock. Drivers can spend $3,000 to have full access to the batteries, or come September 16, for Florida owners, the batteries will revert. These 60 kWh cars have been discontinued by Tesla. The company found that instead of looking for an affordable EV, customers were opting for the higher range models instead, wanting more miles than a cheaper price.
Tesla did not indicate how many vehicles received the update. This shows how many private companies are giving to help those in need. When Hurricane Harvey hit, Budweiser started canning water to send to those in need in the Texas and Louisiana area, and it is expected that a number of companies, as well as celebrities, and everyday people will be willing to bend over backwards to assist those people who have had their lives disrupted by the devastation not just from Irma, but Harvey and other natural disasters to come. While Irma has made landfall and is heading north on a western route up Florida, nearby states are beginning to prepare for the worse.
By Cletus Dillwood
Photo Courtesy Tesla