It is a noble move and certainly a God send for those trying to get out of Florida.

Now, there’s no denying that after Hurricane Harvey kicked the hell out of Texas, it was a ridiculous for Mother Nature to rape all of Florida too, but sure enough, it happened anyway. Originally deemed the most powerful storm ever recorded, Irma was larger than the state of Florida itself and has left a path of destruction as it made its way from the Atlantic toward the sunshine state. It decimated a few smaller islands and kicked Cuba’s ass a bit too before crossing directly over the Florida Keys and wrecking the West coast of the Florida peninsula. As Irma made its deadly approach toward the land of oranges, evacuation orders were issued and panic set in – not so much so that looters didn’t take their chances, of course, but we’ll leave that story for another time. In the end, the last few days before Irma made landfall in Florida were chaotic, to say the least.

Air traffic was a nightmare, leaving us to question how air traffic control even managed to prevent disaster, and the highways were jammed up like Satan himself was birthing from the bowels of the earth. Gas prices skyrocketed, and so did the price of bottled water as everyone tried to take advantage of the situation, claiming supply and demand as the reasoning for price gouging. Meanwhile, Tesla took a different approach and helped out its customers as they struggled to evacuate.

So, while some local businesses showed their ugly side by hiking prices like the apocalypse was coming, Tesla decided it would remove the range limiter on its lesser Model S and Model X vehicles in Florida, effectively giving owners an extra 30 to 40 miles, according to Electrek. And, it was all thanks to one owner who reached out to Tesla saying he needed just an extra 30 miles to get out of his mandatory evacuation zone. So, once Tesla heard from this customer, it decided that other Tesla owners might need the same, and temporarily unlocked the extra range via an over-the-air update. The update was effective on all 60D models of the Model S and X, which were sold with 75 kWh batteries that were limited with the option to unlock their full potential at a later time – something that would cost owners between $4,500 and $9,000 depending on the vehicle and time of the update. Keep in mind that this isn’t a permanent upgrade, and it will expire, but it certainly served an important purpose and has proven that not all automakers are greedy and self-absorbed. Keep reading to learn more.

A Very Commendable Move from Tesla

2018 Tesla Model 3 Exterior High Resolution
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Florida is home to a lot of Tesla owners, so you can imagine that the Supercharger network in Florida was definitely getting a workout as everyone scrambled to get out of Dodge before the storm hit. But, sometimes you just need an extra boost to get out of harm’s way, and Tesla really came through for its customers this time around. As owners got into their vehicles on Friday morning, it was pretty easy to spot the extra range available and that “75” badge on the screen. Most didn’t know what happened but surely were more than happy with that extra range, even if it is temporary. Sure, the Supercharger network in Florida is quite extensive, but those extra miles could allow route optimization and save time, among other things. The temporary boost will last until September 16th when another OTA update will revert all 60 and 70 models back to their original software.

2017 Tesla Model S
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2016 Tesla Model X
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The temporary boost will last until September 16th when another OTA update will revert all 60 and 70 models back to their original software.

You’ve really got to hand it to Tesla for making such a gesture in a drastic time of need. When you’re worried about potentially losing your home and most of the things you own, even potentially losing friends and family, a gesture like this really makes the difference and really restores our faith in the automaker. Sure, it’s vehicles are expensive, and until the Model 3 is in full production the name is reserved for those who make a decent living, but nobody in Florida had to suffer range anxiety on top of all the other stress caused by the mandatory evacuations. If I was a Tesla customer in Florida, I would certainly be a loyal customer from this time forward, and I would certainly consider paying to unlock the extra range in the future, just as a thank you of sorts to the only Automaker who was able to come through for its customers when they really needed a helping hand. Kudos, Tesla – other automakers could certainly learn from you in the future.

References

Tesla Model S

2017 Tesla Model S Exterior
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Read our full review on the Tesla Model S.

Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Tesla Model X.

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