Tesla has responded to Hurricane Irma by upping the range of its Model S and Model X cars in the evacuation zone. The electric carmaker has increased the range of the cars by providing a temporary software update that increases the cars range from 210 miles on a single charge to 249.
The update was first reported via Reddit, but Tesla soon confirmed it was true. The temporary increase was hoped to assist those who need to evacuate the area due to the severe weather and its aftermath.
The software update is less of an actual update but rather a removal of a limitation. The company has the ability to update its fleet of cars' software ‘over the air’. This limitation removal required no work by the car owners. All of Tesla’s cheaper 60kWh models are actually installed with a 75 kWh battery with the range limitation. Owners can activate the additional range, whenever they want, but it will cost them $5,000. This temporary lift of the limit will stay until September 16.
The gas stations in Miami and Gainesville are running out of fuel
Electric vehicles have come into their own in the days and weeks following the horrific weather conditions hitting the southern states. Gasoline shortages in Florida have proved devastating for some drivers who haven’t been able to fill up and leave the affected areas. It is reported that more than 60 percent of the gas stations in Gainesville are without fuel. That number is closer to 40 percent in Miami, where millions of residents were asked to evacuate their homes.
Hurricane Irma has left a wake of destruction in its path across the Caribbean and through Florida. The extreme weather has caused the deaths of 12 people in the United States and has left more than 15 million people in Florida without power. Chris Krebs, Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security has said, “I do ask that everyone have patience. This is going to take some time to restore."
The massive storm provided the opportunity for more than 40 high-risk prisoners to escape from a high-security prison. The escaped prisoners are on the run on the island. Reports suggest that looting is rife on the island of Sint Maarten and that residents are protecting their remaining property with guns and machetes.
The deadly hurricane left more than 30 people dead in the Caribbean and food shortages are now expected to claim more lives. European countries have rallied around the hurricane devastated Caribbean countries, providing aid, troops, and resources. But reports from the ground say even more help is needed with millions left homeless. 70-year-old Sint Maarten resident Germania Perez told the Associated Press, “There's no food here. There's no water here” The Dutch King Willem-Alexander traveled to Sint Maarten on Monday to get an understanding of the damage and make plans for aid relief. “I've never experienced anything like this before and I've seen a lot of natural disasters in my life," he told Dutch media. "I've seen a lot of war zones in my life, but I've never seen anything like this."