The door handles, seen here flush against the body, extend as the driver approaches with key in pocket (if the car is equipped with the tech package, that is—otherwise, they’ll extend when lightly pressed). (credit: Steven Michael)
As Floridians in the path of Hurricane Irma rushed to evacuate last week, Tesla pushed out a software update that made it a bit easier for certain Model S and Model X owners to get out of the state.
Tesla sometimes sells cars with more hardware battery capacity than is initially available for use by customers, offering the additional capacity as a subsequent software update. For example, Tesla has sold Model S cars rated P60D—the 60 stands for 60kWh of energy storage—that actually have 75kWh batteries. Owners of these vehicles can pay Tesla $9,000 to unlock the extra 15kWh of storage capacity.
But last week, Tesla decided to temporarily make this extra capacity available even to Floridians who hadn’t paid for the upgrade to ensure they had enough range to get out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the change to Eletrek. The extra 15kWh should give the vehicles an additional 30 to 40 miles of range.
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