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Tesla unlocked its range-limited vehicles for Florida customers, extending the range of their vehicles to facilitate an easier evacuation from the storm.
As a Tesla spokesperson confirmed to Electrek, Florida owners of Model S and Model X 60 and 60D vehicles temporarily have the full mileage capability of the vehicles' 75 kWh battery packs. The estimated 338km range of the 60 and 60D has been unlocked to achieve approximately 30 more miles.
We reached to Tesla and a representative confirmed that the company has put in place the emergency measure to temporarily extend the range of the vehicles of Tesla owners in the path of Hurricane Irma.
The company says that a Tesla owner in a mandatory evacuation zone required another ~30 more miles of range to optimise his evacuation route in the traffic and they reached out to Tesla who agreed to a temporary access to the full 75 kWh of energy in the battery pack, an upgrade that has cost between $US4,500 ($5,580) and $US9,000 ($11,159) depending on the model and time of upgrade.
Tesla previously offered a lower range option of its Model S and Model X that was software limited on range for a lower sticker cost. Since the vehicle still had the more capable hardware, owners had the option to later pay to unlock the full range their car was capable of. The lower model tier was discontinued earlier this year.
While Tesla's power over the ability of its customers to escape a category four hurricane sounds like a potential corporate dystopian nightmare, the company's willingness to assist its owners in such a functional manner is praiseworthy, to say the least.