Tesla to unlock extended range for vehicles affected in CA wildfires

Tesla owners living in areas affected by the ongoing CA wildfires will be able to tap into the maximum range offered by their vehicles, even if they purchased trims that feature a software-limited battery pack. The update was confirmed by CEO Elon Musk on Twitter Monday morning. 

With this update, owners of electric cars such as the Model S 40, Model S 60, and Model S 70 will be able to gain extra range for their electric cars. This is made possible by Tesla equipping the vehicles with a larger battery pack that is software-locked. The Model S 40, for example, is equipped with a 60 kWh battery that’s software-limited to 40 kWh, while the Model S 60 and Model S 70 are fitted with 75 kWh batteries that’s locked to 60 and 70 kWh. This was done to allow Tesla to sell the vehicles at lower prices, particularly during the early days of the Model S.

Owners of these vehicles were then given the option to unlock the full battery capacity of their vehicles as an aftersales upgrade. Yet, as Tesla has consistently shown, the additional range that is locked in these vehicles will be accessible in times of need, as evidenced by the company’s temporary range upgrade during calamities like Hurricane Michael last year, or this year’s ongoing CA fires. 

Tesla is yet to confirm if the Standard Range Model 3 will also have its full battery capacity unlocked, though Elon Musk’s recent announcement suggests that this will be the case. This would greatly help owners of the $35,000 Model 3, as their vehicles could essentially tap into the range offered by the slightly more expensive Model 3 Standard Range Plus. Musk’s recent tweet seems to confirm that free unlimited Supercharging will also be enabled for owners in areas that are affected by the ongoing CA wildfires. 

The Bay Area, among other places, is currently being threatened by a massive wildfire that broke out early Monday morning. Due to strong winds, the fire spread faster, burning along a major freeway west of downtown and putting hundreds of homes near the Getty Center at risk. The LA fire department has noted that the Getty Fire had already burned 400 acres, and several neighborhoods have already been given evacuation orders. 

Other fires in the state, such as the Kincade Fire, currently the largest blaze in the state, continue to burn as well. The Kincade Fire had grown to 66,000 acres, destroying 96 structures and damaging 16 more. The fire, which had injured two firefighters so far, was only 5% contained as of Sunday. Apart from the Getty and Kincade Fires, about 10 more are burning across the state.

Tesla to unlock extended range for vehicles affected in CA wildfires
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