Model S and Model X 60 and 60D owners in Florida recently received an unexpected surprise, as Tesla rolled out an unannounced software update that enabled their vehicles to unlock the full capacity of their battery packs. The recent OTA update ultimately gave Model S/X 60/60D owners an additional 40 miles of range, enabling Tesla drivers to escape Hurricane Irma’s wrath more effectively.
The update was rolled out to owners of Tesla Model S/X 60/60D vehicles in the state’s evacuation zones. These cars were originally equipped with a 75kWh battery pack but were limited to 60kWh through a software lock.
Owners of the 60D series could fully unlock their EV’s battery capacity at a later time, though the upgrade costs a premium of around $4,500 to $9,000, as stated in a Teslarati report. The software-locked versions of the Model S/X 60/60D were sold at a lower price, however, which enabled customers to acquire a more premium variant of the carmaker’s vehicles at a discount.
On Saturday, however, owners of Model S/X 60/60D units were pleasantly surprised to see that their vehicles now had an extra 40 miles of range. Drivers also noticed that a “75” badge had appeared in their car’s software menu.
As it turned out, Tesla initiated the sudden unlocking of all Model S/X 60/60D units in Florida as an emergency measure to aid drivers in the state’s hurricane evacuation zones. According to an Electrek report, a Tesla representative confirmed that the extended range of the company’s Model S/X 60/60D units were intentionally rolled out to drivers who were in the path of Hurricane Irma.
— WeeL (@Weelauto) September 10, 2017
While the unlocked batteries of the EVs only give drivers an additional 40 miles of range, it was nonetheless well appreciated by Tesla owners in the state. After all, in the face of natural disasters like Hurricane Irma, every extra single mile from an electric vehicle is valuable.
Hurricane Irma is arguably the largest and most daunting hurricane to hit the United States in years, with the weather disturbance wreaking havoc on all the places it has passed through so far. Its impending arrival has caused a panic-buying spree among car owners, with gas stations in the state’s affected areas running out of petrol as hundreds of drivers tried to purchase as much fuel as they could.
So far, most Tesla Superchargers in Florida remain online. As of writing, only two stations are compromised in the state, with the Supercharger in the Florida Keys being offline and the station in Myers showing “reduced service.”
[Featured Image by Tesla]