Tesla will free up any software-locked battery capacity in cars owned by people in Hurricane Florence's path, thanks to its over-the-air update system.
Although it's not offered anymore, the company at one point sold a Model S 60. The cheapest variant shared its battery with the 75kWh car, with the extra 25 per cent battery power locked only through software.
Electrek reports owners in the path of Hurricane Florence, which will likely be a Category 4 storm rivalling Hurricane Harvey for size, with the 60kWh battery pack are getting the following message on their cars:
“We are temporarily enabling your car to access additional battery capacity, as well as free Supercharging, in preparation for Hurricane Florence. We hope this gives you the peace of mind to get to a safe location, and will notify you before returning your car to its original configuration in mid-October. Badging on your display may adjust during this period. Safe travels.”
Supercharging will also be free during the Hurricane period, making it cheaper and easier for owners to charge up on the fly.
Tesla did something similar for Florida owners last year, as the state braced for impact from Hurricane Irma. The move frees up around 40mi (65km) of extra range, depending on driving style and load.
Over-the-air updates are slowly making their way across the industry, with BMW announcing OS7.0 can be remotely upgraded – provided the owner has an internet connection, of course. Volvo also allows wireless updates for its Sensus system.
Tesla has previously used wireless upgrades to improve the functionality of Autopilot, tweak its infotainment system and, in the case of the Model 3, fix a niggle related to the glovebox.