Tesla Extends Ranges To Help Owners Escape Hurricane Irma

Tesla has temporarily increased the range of select vehicles in an effort to help Florida residents escape the wrath of Hurricane Irma.

Electrek reports that the electric automaker has unlocked the full battery capacity of Model S and Model X 60 and 60D models with 75-kWh battery packs.

While the ‘60’ models are no longer offered, they were once the cheapest Model S and Model X variants and were software limited to 60-kWh despite having 75-kWh batteries. If customers wanted, they could pay a little extra to have that additional 15-kWh unlocked.

According to one Tesla owner in the path of Hurricane Irma, he woke up to discover his Model S 60 had 40 miles of additional range and a ‘75’ badge in its software.

Speaking about the decision to unlock the additional range, Tesla said it was contacted by an owner in a mandatory evacuation zone requiring an additional 30 miles of range to allow him to evacuate. The firm ultimately decided to offer a touch more range to him and other owners in the area.


  • Axiom Ethos

    Another example of why this company is amazing.

    • Matt

      It’s just PR. Other automakers have donated vehicles to assist first responders and clean-up crews, Tesla’s ‘wow’ factor in this scenario is merely the fact the gesture involves the clever over-the-air update.

      Which doesn’t actually cost Tesla anything.

    • spambox

      I’m not sure how accessing an automobiles computer system and making unilateral changes remotely without the owners permissions makes this a great company. Seems Tesla probably has complete remote control over the operation of the vehicle. That should concern everyone.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Good guy Elon.

    It’s the little things.

    • Jay

      I hate the fact that it’s already in the car so they are paying more for a bit if code to unlock the capability.

      • Vassilis


      • Auf Wiedersehen

        It’s HOW THE MARKET WORKS! Cars are not smart phones that offer free upgrades! 99% or all cars are capable of more than you get…but they want you to buy more cars each year to get more stuff. If you don’t like it, start your own car company and give away upgrades for free yourself. Let’s see how long you make it in business. No one will buy it because they’ll just wait for yo to offer a free update to the latest and greatest.

        • Jay

          I’m not blind, a lot of people aren’t. It’s not just with car the problem is all over. Even down to video games with items on the disk you have to pay more to unlock. It’s ridiculous, if it’s already built in why should you have to pay more to have it. Like someone else said its a waste especially if its never used. Just because automakers do it doesn’t make it right. If they had to take the car somewhere to get it installed then its fine but this should not be excepted. It’s a good look for tesla to allow it however now that its actvated will they lock it back at a later date or keep the feature unlocked?

          • Auf Wiedersehen

            “if it’s already built in why should you have to pay more to have it.”

            Because you didn’t pay the cost to have it! If you want more, you pay more…why is this such a hard concept for people to understand?

            “Like someone else said its a waste especially if its never used.”

            It’s not wasted because SOMEONE will buy it. If you don’t want to pay for the better, faster, extra “thing” that’s your prerogative but just because you don’t doesn’t mean it’s wasted.

            It’s a product that a company has worked hard on to be the next level up and, to make it easy to get it to people should they want it, it’s all built in. They just flip a switch. Things would be more expensive and harder to manage if they had to design, engineer and build separate products.

            As far as cars, if you want the stuff that’s already built in, buy the next model or so up to get it. That’s how the capitalist, free market works. This can’t be new to you!

          • Jay

            You are trying to justify tesla charging extra hundreds or thousands of dollars to send a car an “enable code”, it isn’t working. Again I didn’t say it was new I said it shouldn’t be. The car is already built and sold with the 75kwh battery but intentionally lied and said it was only 60kwh.. just to upsell them later. Its a rip off because you already paid for the battery. Is it that hard for you to realize that? Tesla realized they were ripping people off and stopped selling the 60 all together and if im not mistaken they no longer practice this particular ‘upsell’.

          • Auf Wiedersehen

            Whatever helps you get through the day

          • Stephen G

            That’s why it’s OK to hack into your own 60S and extend the range yourself. Why pay the extra. Gotta love the system.

  • LeStori

    Whilst you have to think it is good for a company do do such thing, the fact is these cars have a battery pack bigger than they need . They are carrying around excess weight for no reason other than the software is telling the system to ignore the extra battery capability. Yes this may make sense from a manufacturing situation and presumably you can ‘upgrade’ your car at any time, however talk about wasting resources to save the planet…

    • Jay

      My thoughts exactly.

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      It’s called Upselling. Car companies do it all the time. Tesla makes upgrading to the next model enticing by offering more range. Most car companies offer more power almost every year with same engine displacement. Tesla can update the models anytime if you want to pay for it…something most car companies don’t even offer.

  • LJ

    So now cars come with DLC?

  • Blade t

    When a hurricane knocks out the power for miles around , you’re not going anywhere in a tesla….

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      Kinda like when you have to waste precious time while waiting in line for gas only to find the gas station has run out of gas huh? At least with an electric, you more than likely have a full charge from your garage or parking space before you leave and will pass all those gas lines by as you get the hell outta Dodge.

    • KB

      too bad those gas stations also run on electricity…

  • Peyton

    Thank you for temporarily transforming the vehicle into a more useful one, and for choosing when to giveth and when to taketh away. I love letting corporations having that kind of control over my property.

  • Bash

    “According to one Tesla owner in the path of Hurricane Irma, he woke up to discover his Model S 60 had 40 miles of additional range and a ‘75’ badge in its software.”

    I like that..

    • Arminius JP

      Although it introduces the possibility that if an owner annoyed Tesla (say by missing service intervals or even leaving an invoice unpaid), he could wake up to discover his Model 75 had a ’60’ badge!

  • Marty

    Why is that capacity locked in the first place?

    • nastinupe

      Because people are paying for a lesser car. Tesla wants people to decide to upgrade to the larger range.

      • Marty

        It’s like having to pay to unlock one of the seats in a car. “If you want to use the fifth seat, you need to pay us to remove the gaffa tape”.

  • m_1

    Wow. That’s great. If a hurricane strikes the UK, I hope BMW would similarly unlock an extra 10 litres of petrol in my 5 series. Oh wait…

    • Vassilis

      You don’t need to because your car already has more range than the Tesla :p

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    That’s GREAT….if you are a “select” owner….all you other schmucks will have to stop for a recharge…..GOOD luck!

  • BlackPegasus

    Wait a minute!
    Did they simply UNLOCK the range abilities over the air? As in some sort of firmware update? Did that mean the ‘hardware’ built into the batteries already had this capability? If so I feel disappointed in Tesla. I understand they have to make a profit by charging more for range, but if the only thing that separates 50-80 miles extra range is a firmware update, then color me cynical.

    This is coming from a Tesla fan 😒

  • Stephen G

    WOW this is fantastic PR. Kind of makes you wonder what else Tesla is finagling without the owners knowledge.

  • gary4205

    Oh boy.

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