Tesla boosts vehicle range to help drivers escape Hurricane Irma

Tesla Model 3 unofficial configurator

Tesla Model S and X are normally equipped with 60 to 70-kilowatt hours-battery that can run for 200 to 230 miles per charge.

To help base-model Tesla owners evacuate areas that were about to be hit by Hurricane Irma, the electric automaker made a decision to give them a gift.

Tesla did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment, but confirmed the move to Electrek.

A Florida driver who received the free update to 75 kilowatt-hours on Sep.

Previously, these vehicles were limited to a driving range of around 210 miles on a single charge.

Coming out of the factory, Tesla used software to allow an owner of the less expensive models to only access part of the battery pack.

For electric vehicle owners, the concern goes further: How can I get the most out of my battery between charges?

Due to these exceptional circumstances, and to help you better prepare to evacuate and get to safety, your vehicle has been adjusted at no cost to you to temporarily access the additional battery capacity until September 16th. Owners of these vehicles can pay Tesla $9,000 to unlock the extra 15 kWh of storage capacity. It's your auto. But in the era of over-the-air software updates, maybe it's not. A journey from Detroit to New York City would have charging stops reduced by almost two. For $6,500, owners could upgrade to the full 75 kWh capacity. On Sunday, CNN reported long lines and gas outages at some gas stations in Florida; Tesla's Supercharger network appears to be largely unaffected at the time of writing.

That's the good news. As we've seen, Tesla can remotely install new software, including code that enables and disables features unilaterally.

A Florida motorist last week told Electrek that he discovered his Model S 60 had almost 40 additional miles and an unexpected "75" software badge.

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