Tesla remotely gave its owners' cars longer range to escape Irma

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Tesla will continue keeping the full 75 kWh battery unlock through to September 16.

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

Tesla owners report getting between 2.5 to 3.5 miles per kWh, so the extra capacity probably increased the range of affected vehicles by about 45 miles.

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.

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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. But a few extra free miles never hurt anyone. Tesla has had the ability to push out over-the-air updates for several years. They point out one downside to driving electric: with less widespread infrastructure, Tesla drivers could be more likely to see crucial superchargers offline or overcrowded during emergencies.

Another benefit of picking up a Tesla over a standard vehicle for the evacuation was the lack of a queue at Tesla's Supercharger stations compared to long lines at petrol stations. "Features you've come to expect can be taken away or degraded not because the hardware has changed but because decisions were made about what the software can do", he said.

Millions of people are now affected by the evacuation of Florida as Hurricane Irma starts reaching the state and creates some hard traffic situation when escaping north.

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