Tesla helps Hurricane Irma evacuees with a temporary software update


Due to hurricane Irma the company Tesla opened remotely access the full battery capacity to owners of S models, X60 and S60D.

The update unlocked the full battery potential of Model S/X 60/60D vehicles with 75 kWh battery packs, according to Electrek.

Electric vehicle maker Tesla says it has temporarily increased the battery capacity of some of its cars to help drivers escaping Hurricane Irma.

The change, which was made rather quietly, first came to the notice of Tesla owners on Reddit.

Tesla (TSLA) extended the battery life of certain models for drivers in Florida so they could evacuate, it has been revealed.

Tesla introduced its cheaper Model X and Model S vehicles a year ago with an 75 KWH battery that was software locked to use 80% of that available power. Owners of these vehicles can pay Tesla $9,000 to unlock the extra 15 kWh of storage capacity. But for Tesla, managing variations using software makes sense, given that the company sells only three vehicles now.

Alas, the upgrade won't stick around forever - Tesla generally charges at least $5,000 for the permanent equivalent. Another owner pointed out that Tesla said the upgrade will be effective through 16 September. 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.

The software update released by Tesla essentially raised the operating range of the two Models from 210 miles to 249 miles, enabling owners to move out of the area once the evacuation recommendations were announced.

The hurricane had previously killed 23 people and devastated a series of Caribbean islands.