Another hurricane, another cool move from Tesla. The EV manufacturer has temporarily extended the range of vehicles in the area affected by Hurricane Florence.
Last year, Tesla did the same for owners fleeing Hurricane Irma, only this time there’s an added bonus. In addition to unlocking battery capacity, the company has also granted free access to Superchargers for owners who don’t have it. Both freebies come via Tesla’s over-the-air software update system.
Before jumping to conclusions and criticizing Tesla for denying owners access to the full capacity of their cars’ batteries in the first place, you should know the range extension only applies to Model S or Model X cars with a 75 kWh battery pack software-locked at 60 kWh.
Tesla used to offer such software-limited batteries that allowed customers to buy a less expensive vehicle with a shorter range with the possibility to pay to unlock the full capacity at a later stage. Unlocking 15 kWh of battery capacity results in around 30 to 40 additional miles (48-64 km), which could be enough to allow Tesla owners to get to a safe zone.
Owners located on the Carolina coast told Electrek they received the following notification from Tesla on their cars’ infotainment systems.
“We are temporarily enabling your car to access additional battery capacity, as well as free Supercharging, in preparation for Hurricane Florence. We hope this gives you the peace of mind to get to a safe location and will notify you before returning your car to its original configuration in mid-October. Badging on your display may adjust during this period. Safe travels.”
Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina’s shore early Friday as Category 1 storm, bringing 90-mph (145-km/h) winds, relentless rains, and leaving almost 500,000 homes without electricity.
Hat tip to Harsh!