Hurricane Irma Tesla Range-Extension Good Through October 1

4 weeks ago by Steven Loveday 16

Tesla Model X

Tesla Model X

Most have heard the news that Tesla sent a free, temporary, over-the-air software update to help some owners flee Hurricane Irma. Now, the automaker extends the range bump.

It’s a hurricane season like none other, and it’s extremely difficult for forecasters to know exactly when the next storm will make landfall and where the strongest part of it will hit. In the midst of Hurricane Irma, Tesla sent an OTA update to Model S and X 60 owners to allow for the used of the full 75 kWh battery capacity (something that those owners would normally have the option to pay for in the form of an upgrade).

Tesla

Model S at Supercharger

Of course, there’s been talk on Tesla forums and social media outlets hoping that Tesla will just let those owners keep the range bump indefinitely. Why reverse it, it isn’t costing the automaker any extra money and Tesla is quite busy with a myriad of other projects at the moment? Honestly, it has to be reversed because it’s not a free option and that just wouldn’t be fair.

The automaker is, however, letting those owners enjoy the extra range through the end of the month. Tesla shared:

“With the passing of Hurricane Irma, our thoughts are with you, your fellow Tesla drivers and all those affected by the storm. So that you may focus on what’s most important to you, we will return your vehicle’s battery to its original capacity on Oct. 1.”

The update is supposed to reverse on October 1st, but knowing Tesla, perhaps people will get to enjoy it for a bit longer. The automaker does have a reputation for taking its time, and as previously stated, to say that it’s busy over in Fremont would be a ridiculous understatement.

There are more hurricanes on the horizon, so for now, people still have that range if needed. If another hurricane threatens soon, it would only make sense for the automaker to leave it in place longer. Also, some people that had property destroyed are displaced from their homes, staying with family or friends. Additionally, if the drivers get some extra time with the longer range, they may be more apt to pay for the upgrade or buy a new longer-range Teslas in the future.

As always, the fact that the automaker could simply increase range on vehicles confused and upset some people. To be clear, this is not necessarily something that can be done to every Tesla vehicle. Some vehicles have a 75 kWh battery that is limited to 60 kWh unless you pay for the upgrade. This way, Tesla doesn’t have to produce additional battery packs, and only people that want/need the range choose to pay for it.

It’s not as if Tesla is giving customers a car and intentionally withholding its potential. The automaker has a system of building cars with the necessary hardware and then offering the option to upgrade at the point of purchase or further down the road, although upgrading at the point of purchase is less expensive. For example, all Tesla vehicles are equipped with Autopilot hardware and Full Self-Driving hardware, but a fee and software upgrade makes these options usable (self-driving software isn’t yet finalized and will eventually need to undergo regulatory approval prior to adoption).

In related news, a Florida-based Model S owner found another perk of owning a Tesla during a natural disaster. Check it out here.

Source: Teslarati

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16 responses to "Hurricane Irma Tesla Range-Extension Good Through October 1"

  1. bro1999 says:

    I wonder if there was a way owners could “block” the update that takes away the range bump?

    1. Clive says:

      Maybe but they’ll never benefit from any new updates either.

    2. Steven says:

      Keep wifi off, disconnect the cellular antenna, sure. But again, no more updates ever again. Plus, trading it in and re-sale would be interesting. Sell it as a a 75 and don’t disclose the no more updates part?

  2. ffbj says:

    I think PW 2 sales will increase in southern FL, as those with solar panels found, contrary to their expectations, that they lost power too.

    1. jm says:

      I’m definitely looking into 2 PW2’s as I had 46 panels sitting there doing nothing for 5 days. But at least I wasn’t paying $400 PER DAY on propane for a standby generator like my neighbor with his McMansion.

  3. Victor says:

    I can see this becoming a major problem. Whenever there’s a storm brewing on the horizon people going to feel entitled to an upgrade. Knowing human behavior the way I do, I think Tesla has set a bad precedent. Tesla should have never given anyone a free upgrade (although temporarily).

    1. Gerhard Hauer says:

      They always stated that Tesla could give you a temporary range upgrade, eg for driving your new tesla S60 from tesla to your home.

    2. Big Solar says:

      If you are right than maybe this is good. Maybe Tesla will teach the entitled not to be so entitled.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      This applies only to those Model S’s and X’s with a 75 kWh battery pack electronically limited to 60 kWh. Tesla has been trying to get those buyers to pay for an upgrade to the full 75 kWh. Opening up the extra 15 kWh for use wasn’t only a goodwill gesture to help during a widespread disaster, it was a way for Tesla to entice those owners to upgrade.

      No, this wasn’t at all a bad idea, nor a bad precedent; it was a very good idea and an excellent marketing strategy for Tesla. Nobody could feel “entitled” to Tesla opening up battery pack capacity that isn’t there!

  4. SparkEV says:

    “Why reverse it, it isn’t costing the automaker any extra money”

    But it is costing people who use superchargers. Since base S is “low cost”, they are more likely to behave like Leaf and i3 drivers: sit at DCFC wasting time when they could’ve charged at home. With more taper by allowing full battery, they are likely to sit even longer to reach X%.

    1. Nick says:

      Maybe. I’d definitely need to see some data on this before I made any decisions.

      I’m not even convinced this is a real problem with single stall chargers, let alone 8 stall super charger sites.

      I think your experience might be atypical.

      1. Clive says:

        Spark is just bitter about people who are on chargers he thinks are changing unnecessary. He always complains about it.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yeah, Sparky takes the rich, one-percenter’s sense of entitlement and takes it “to infinity… and beyond!” He’s convinced himself that he should have priority at all public chargers, and anyone forcing him to wait is misusing “his” chargers. It’s the EV driver equivalent of a speed demon acting like he “owns the road”.

          Sparky has managed to convince himself that everyone who’s charging for free is taking the extra time to charge to 100%, even though it has been amply shown, beyond any rational or fact-based doubt whatsoever, that this simply isn’t true. In other words, his mind is made up; don’t confuse him with the facts!

          1. SparkEV says:

            I have never said I should get priority, just that there should be options for priority to people willing to pay more like everything else in the world. With free charging, there is no option for priority even if all stalls are taken. Fact is, free means waiting and your life must mean nothing if you like free. But most people’s time is worth more than zero.

            As for 1%, almost everyone in US, including the poor, are the top 1% compared to the rest of the world. The true 99% (much of outside of US) don’t talk about forcibly taking the wealth of US (1%). All the “we are 99%” rhetoric is just BS when they are in fact part of the top 1%. They are just selfish a-holes who want to steal from others. The top 1% in US didn’t point a gun at you to take your money. They received their money given voluntarily by people (trade money for products and services).

            But “we are 99% (who are really top 1%)” a-holes want to use the guns of the government to take other people’s money. They are no different than thugs robbing people, and they should be jailed or thrown in mental institution (after all, they are nuts), not celebrated. Otherwise, they will come after you once they run out of “rich” to rob. There will always be someone richer, it’s just matter of time before you fall into “top 1% of US” category for them to rob.

  5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Of course, there’s been talk on Tesla forums and social media outlets hoping that Tesla will just let those owners keep the range bump indefinitely. Why reverse it, it isn’t costing the automaker any extra money…”

    It’s amazing, isn’t it, how easy it is for people to talk themselves into believing they should get something for free? (Just look at how widespread illegal copying of music, movies, and software is!)

    Well of course that would cost Tesla money; lots of money. Giving away rather than charging for that extra 15 kWh that the buyer didn’t pay for, would cost Tesla the fee that every Model S60 owner who wants to upgrade his car to an S75 will pay.

    It would also set an extremely bad precedent, if Tesla at any time in the future makes a similar offer, of an electronically limited capacity battery pack for less money. “Hey, just wait awhile; Tesla will eventually give that extra capacity to you for free!” That alone would be sufficient reason for Tesla to not even consider doing such a foolish thing.

  6. Steven says:

    Even better…

    Hey Elon,
    Just a suggestion…
    Uncapped the range on all applicable vehicles during hurricane season, every year automatically.
    This would be a reasonably simple software patch.
    Of course, do it only for vehicles registered in those states typically hit by hurricanes.

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