Tesla Increase Range For Free To Help Drivers Escape Irma

Helping drivers flee Irma, Tesla reportedly issues remote upgrade to boost battery power

Tesla extended the range of some Florida vehicles for drivers to escape Hurricane Irma

As thousands of people fled the approach of Hurricane Irma in the southeast United States, Tesla assisted drivers of its electric cars by extending their battery range, the company confirmed.

Up until a few months ago, Tesla sold a 60kWh version of its Model S and Model X vehicles - but the battery in those cars was actually rated at 75kWh. Tesla said that their Model X 60 D and Model S 60/60D are already equipped with a 75 kWh battery. Faced with an order to leave, one Tesla owner contacted the company, saying that they needed an additional 30 miles of range to get out of the mandatory evacuation zone they were in. TechCrunch, reported that the extra capacity should amount to an extra 30 miles which could be enough to help get a driver to safety. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

The Model X above and the Model S received over-the-air updates to expand battery storage capacity temporarily to evacuate Florida
The Model X above and the Model S received over-the-air updates to expand battery storage capacity temporarily to evacuate Florida

It might seem unusual that Tesla is able to upgrade the capabilities of its vehicles via software update.

The electric auto maker has remotely extended the battery capacity of some of its shorter-range vehicles to help evacuees in Florida find their way to safety without running out of juice.

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Some owners, however, recently received a pleasant surprise.

For Tesla, the idea was twofold.

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Tesla is able to update cars remotely with new software - just like your smartphone - rather than require you to take your motor into a garage.

Tesla usually charges drivers $9,000 for that privilege, but waived the fee to give drivers temporary use of the feature. "I think Tesla is happy to allow customers to think of the transaction in those terms". Google, for example, confirmed that it is working with gadget fix chain uBreakiFix to mend Pixel devices damaged in the vicinity of Houston, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey.

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