Owners were given an unexpected helping hand after Tesla remotely upgraded vehicle batteries to their highest capacity. This little extra juice provided an extra up to 40 miles of range. It is, however, temporary and will be withdrawn within a few days.

The massive evacuation preceding – and during – Irma prompted a Tesla customer to request this assistance. Range anxiety had to be on the minds of all T drivers heading for safety.

Tesla Remotely Upgraded Vehicle Batteries For Cars In Path Of Irma

Photo Courtesy of Tesla

“There are a lot Tesla owners in Florida and they are also escaping north using the Supercharger network,” Fred Lambert wrote for Electrek. “Now Tesla has even facilitated travels for some of them as the automaker remotely unlocked the full battery pack capacity of Model S/X 60/60D vehicles with 75 kWh battery packs.”

Model S and X 75kWh batteries (sold software-limited on 60 kWh or 70 kWh capacity, requiring around $5K for the push to 75 kWh) were boosted to full. A great gesture from Tesla and undoubtedly all recipients affected were grateful for to reduce the stress in safely reaching the next Supercharger.

This altruistic gesture does, however, leave questions. How far can an auto manufacturer go to in altering the configuration of a vehicle at their discretion – post-purchase?

There are definitely two sides to this story.

Obviously, Tesla contributed to the cause and should be applauded for doing all within their power to aid owners in possible distress.

On the other hand, the company unilaterally made the decision on a major software push without owner permission. In the case of emergency, it is highly appropriate, but guidelines on an auto manufacturer’s ability to utilize system integration and highly sophisticated monitoring to access a customer’s vehicle will require some legislation.

… Kay