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

The electric vehicle company has unlocked the full power of its electric cars in the Florida region, to help Tesla drivers evacuate the region in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

However, Irma had also disproved the argument for sticking with gasoline, as drivers of internal-combustion engines were experiencing widespread fuel shortages in the evacuation zone.

In an email sent by Tesla to its users, the consumers were notified of an automatic adjustment that allowed them to access their car's hidden capacity.

A Florida motorist last week told Electrek that he discovered his Model S 60 had almost 40 additional miles and an unexpected "75" software badge. "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. The option would result in a less expensive vehicle with a shorter range, but the option to pay to remotely enable the longer range at a later stage.

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.

Some of those owners reported this morning having more range than usual in their vehicles.

Tesla's free remote unlock of this extra range for owners in the path of Irma gave them an additional 30 to 40 miles (50 to 60 km) of range to aid in their getting out of the hurricane's way. Tesla will continue keeping the full 75 kWh battery unlock through to September 16.

Elon Musk is apparently one of those people, based on reports that Tesla Motors has extended the range of its vehicles in Florida to aid drivers fleeing Hurricane Irma.

Otherwise, the other Superchargers are reportedly online and accessible on the way north. Stay safe out there everyone.

  • Wendy Palmer