As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, Tesla issued an over-the-air update to drivers in the state that unlocks the full battery capacity of its 60 kilowatt-hour Model S and X vehicles. Contrast this with owners of traditional internal combustion vehicles who have been slogging through lines at the gas pump for almost a week to top up, with more than 40% of the gas stations in southern Florida being completely sold out of gas as drivers fueled up before evacuating.
The company Tesla has lifted restrictions on the blocking capacity of the battery for the cheaper Model and X60D Model S60 / 60D that could drive on a single charge of about 320 kilometers.
The extra 15kWh means around 30 to 40 miles - and will stop the Supercharger network getting over-run.
After owners reported to having longer ranges than usual in their cars, a Tesla representative confirmed to green energy news site Electrek that this was a temporary, emergency measure put in place to aid those in Irma's path, the 400-mile-wide hurricane that experts say could be zeroing in on Tampa. In this case, the clock strikes midnight for the increased battery capacity on September 16th, at which point the extra range will be removed. Drivers can spend $3,000 to have full access to the batteries, or come September 16, for Florida owners, the batteries will revert. This shows how many private companies are giving to help those in need.
The hurricane had previously killed 23 people and devastated a series of Caribbean islands. While Irma has made landfall and is heading north on a western route up Florida, nearby states are beginning to prepare for the worse.