Skip to comments.Tesla flips a switch to increase the range of some cars in Florida to help people evacuate
Posted on 09/10/2017 10:42:47 AM PDT by TigerClaws
Tesla has pushed an over-the-air update to some of its vehicles in Florida that lets those cars go just a liiiittle bit farther, thus helping their owners get that much farther away from the devastation of Hurricane Irma.
Wondering how that's even possible?
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. The thinking: Tesla could offer a more affordable 60kWh version to those who didn't need the full range of the 75kWh battery but to keep things simple, they'd just use the same 75kWh battery and lock it on the software side. If 60kWh buyers found they needed more range and wanted to upgrade later, they could... or if Tesla wanted to suddenly bestow owners with some extra range in case of an emergency, they could.
And that's what's happening here.
As first noticed by Tesla owners on Reddit, the company has pushed a "temporary update" to vehicles within the evacuation zones that bumps the 60kWh models up to 75kWh.
On the road, according to Elektrek, this battery bump works out to about 30 miles of additional range on a full charge. If that little bit of range helps even one person avoid injury or get their loved ones out safely, I'd say its worth whatever work this required.
Alas, the upgrade won't stick around forever Tesla generally charges at least $5,000 for the permanent equivalent. Members on the Tesla Motors Club fan forum report that the temporary update will be reversed on September 16th.
(Meanwhile, in case any gas-powered vehicle owners in the path of the hurricane end up on this page: GasBuddy has rolled out a tool meant to help Floridians find gas stations near them that still have fuel. And if you can get out, please do.) View Reactions (563) Stephen Todd Hoover
"Tesla extorts thousands of dollars from customers to get their electric car to work efficiently."
But they THOUGHT it was good PR...
I think Wranglers used to offer a larger capacity gas tank (20 vs 15 gal. ?) as an option. The tanks were the same, but the fill tube was different. Apparently easy to achieve with a little rework at virtually no cost.
IBM used to sell a laser printer that went at five or six pages a minute. It was locked at that speed in software, as a more expensive version with the same everything went 10-12 pages per minute.
So when my family finally gets the hybrid car we all want, are they going to scam us on the tank and/or battery of that car too?
Whoa. People who were paying thousands of dollars for the higher capacity battery were just paying for a software update on the cheap battery.
Refunds will be in the works. Dumb PR move.
I doubt it. This has been common practice in many industries for years. You sell a single “box” and enable / disable features on the box for a price. Also common in plain software with no hardware component. Tesla made the feature well known and set a market price of $5,000 for the key to unlock the extra 15 kWh capacity.
There would be grounds for a suit if the key were secret and only available to white males, brown females or Clinton voters, but I doubt that’s the case.
Software is the biggest threat to private property. We are in dire need of laws that specify owners’ rights and the manufacturer’s liabilities and limitations concerning hardware products with software embedded in it.
Other way around. People who were paying thousands less for the cheap battery were actually just not paying for the software to have it run like the good battery.
There are many many instances of similar things going on. 386SX chips came into being because they had a run where the math co-processor was busted, so they just disconnected it then sold them cheaper, but they sold well enough that they made more chips with the co-processor bio turned off. They kept that up for years, even went into the 486 line. The only difference between “client” and much more expensive “server” versions of Windows NT were a handful of registry keys and if you knew which ones to flip to what all kinds of features suddenly turned on.
heck the very software I work on ships fully capable and whether you get feature set X or Y depends on how much money you give us and the license key we generate. Making two (or more) different versions of the same product is expensive, SELLING two different versions is often profitable. So a lot of companies have found cheap and quick ways of doing the later without doing the former.
Most modern autos are capable of better performance, mpg, etc, with engine tuning software, mostly from third-party vendors.
What a ripoff, limiting actual capabilities.
Since taxpayers built Tesla, you’d think everyone would get as much capability for their money as possible.
What kind of fool would use an electric car to escape a disaster? Once the battery is dead it takes hours to get it recharged. Throw a couple of gas cans in the trunk of your gas powered car and you are good as gold.
That’s what I want...
A battery powered car to escape an approaching killer hurricane.
Same train of thought...mere seconds apart.
So the range of these cars was limited because Tesla didn’t update them sooner?
Some interesting thread comments.
We’ve had a fridge for 30 years and a washer/dryer for 20.
I tried to get the dryer fixed, “Parts not available” said the guy from Sears. Hired another guy (not ‘authorized’) and he fixed it.
Apparently appliances (many costing 1,2,3k) are made cheaply in China and expected to last 3-5 years max.
Companies even have a ‘planned obsolete’ division to make sure sucker consumers will have to buy expensive new products to replace the cheaply made old ones.
The repair guy told me to buy the most basic appliances possible - no computer board = nothing big to go wrong. Easier to repair and essentially they all do the same thing (keep food cold, dry clothes).
No, the range of the cars was limited UNLESS you paid Tesla the extra $5,000.
It was a money-making scheme by Tesla.
Not quite the Volvo-level fraud, but a ripoff nonetheless.
If ALL you have is your $100k Tesla, what do you do? Ride your bike?
People bought these cars, so that’s what they have to work with at this point. Don’t seem them idling on the interstate for 17 hours (as some cars had to do).
That means it can easily be hacked to be permanent, and Tesla just challenged hackers to do just that and upload the code to BitTorrent.
What a freaking joke of a car (and car company).
Why is it a rip off? You pay more money, and you get better performance. Isn’t that a standard automotive industry practice?
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