More than a million people are fleeing Hurricane Florence, and there are another ten million on watch. Families will be worrying how much driving range they still have in the battery or gas tank. Will there be energy available when they need a top up. Clearly, the last thing the electric car industry needs is an out-of-power crisis. Ars Technica reported on 12 September 2018 how Tesla remotely extends some car battery ranges.
Battery Capacity Unlocked as Tesla Remotely Extends Driving Range
We were not aware 60kWh and 75kWh Model X and Model S cars have the same batteries until now. Apparently, Tesla software-locks the final 15kWh capacity if customers choose to pay the lower price for the softer option.
After Tesla remotely extends the driving range of the 60kWh models, a notice appears on the driver information screen. “We are temporarily enabling your car to access additional battery capacity, and free supercharging, in preparation for Hurricane Florence”. Apparently Tesla did something similar in 2017, when people were fleeing Hurricane Irma. This is part of a broader, “more aggressive approach” to using software to modify the behavior of cars in the field.
Inside Hurricane Florence: Winds and Storm Surge, Explained
Tesla Using Its ‘Own Dealer’ Approach to Software Modifications
Tesla appears uniquely positioned to push out these updates, since other major players have locked into agreements giving their dealers preferential rights. Ars Technica reports on how easily Tesla fixed Model 3 inconsistent braking performance in a few days. We are intrigued by these comments to the Ars Technica post
“Lithium ion doesn’t like to be fully charged or fully discharged. The extra 15 kWh means you get a larger buffer. All car battery packs are slightly over provisioned but here you get 15 kWh bonus overprovisioning for free. Those 60 kWh cars will run forever (300K+ miles) before they lose any range because they have to burn through 20% of the pack just to get through the overprovisioning.”
Preview Image: Surfing Hurricane Florence’s Waves in New Smyrna
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