Traffic jams and gas stations running out of fuel left many Florida residents anxious about whether their means of road transportation could help them reliably escape anxious the storm's path, and that included owners of Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles in 60 and 60D trims, the lowest-cost models with the shortest ranges. Thanks to a remote OTA software update, Tesla has unlocked the full potential of the 75 kWh battery packs that come in the Model S, Model X 60, and Model X 60D cars.
During 2016, Tesla launched Model X and Model S vehicles with a limited battery capacity that were also cheaper than standard ones. While they have a 75-kWh battery, software on those versions limits customers to using about 80% of available power, with a range of 200 to 230 miles per charge.
Tesla owners know that their batteries have a maximum capacity that can be tapped during an emergency.
It might seem odd that Tesla is able to upgrade the capabilities of its vehicles via software update. And though the anonymous driver was not the hero who precipitated Tesla's gift, he is one of many who surely benefited.
Tesla is able to update cars remotely with new software - just like your smartphone - rather than require you to take your motor into a garage.
For Tesla, the idea was twofold.
This decision will help owners of electric cars to evacuate from the disaster zone. "I think Tesla is happy to allow customers to think of the transaction in those terms".
The vehicle maker's temporary benevolence toward storm-tossed customers is being echoed by other image-conscious companies.
Meanwhile, the airline industry, home to innovations like seat miniaturization and unwarranted punishment, stands accused of meeting high demand for flights away from Hurricane Irma with higher prices.