Tesla's demon-haunted cars in Irma's path get a temporary battery-life boost


#101

Applied to the Tesla problem, would it be a Pacer interface?

amc-pacer


#102

I haven’t bought anything, so, no, not really.


#103

We used a hole punch to do this :slight_smile:


#104

Sorry for the confusion; I know they are using software-lock differentiation. I was asking whether there has been a reliable report of Tesla bricking an owner’s car for being late on payments or for fiddling with the software to get a free battery upgrade. If not, rude to assume they would just because they could.


#105

We could also assume the 75kwh cars do indeed have the “don’t dis/charge to 0 or 100” software as well. It would be irresponsible otherwise, and likewise it is shorting the 60kwh owners even more.

What would be most honest is to give the 75kwh battery-saving concious owners the option to only partially charge for their known commute days, and also give the 60kwh owners the option to charge all the way to “max” when needed, thus revenue and honesty, yay!


#106

To the best of my knowledge all Tesla’s sold (and I believe all Tesla’s since the S was released) by default do not charge to 100% to assist in the preservation of the batteries life (the data points to very low levels of battery degradation). You can tell the car to fill 100% of the battery capacity you have purchased, but have to select this manually, otherwise it will charge to 80%. This is effectively what you are talking about. I’m not sure if they also use the spare cells to prolong battery life further, but if they did that would just be a cherry on the top.

Not sure how this is dishonest though. While it would be nice to get all that and a bag of chips, they did sell the car as 60kwh, with an upgrade to 75kwh if you want to pony up the cash.


#107

Ugh. It gets a little more range (238 instead of 220 miles), but also fast-charges slower, it is a subcompact instead of a midsize car (20" shorter, 10" less wheelbase), and is much slower to 60 (6.5 seconds instead of 5.1). It’s also FWD instead of RWD, and made in the USA (whereas substantial parts of the bolt, including batteries and motor, are made in Korea). It’s almost as if range and price are not the only factors in deciding a car!


#108

Upvoted for a truly awesome metaphor :+1:


#109

Exactly. Different bearing materials for higher pressures, different port and valve sizes and valve materials, different piston alloys and treatment, different heat and surface treatment of gears, the list goes on. Not something you can do with an ecu tweak, actual hardware stuff that costs additional money. What do you understand by “tuning”? It’s certainly not like tuning a piano.


#110

Someone mentioned the old IBM “upgrades” where an IBM tech would come out and simply uncripple your large IBM computer a bit. Back in the day that was sometimes jokingly referred to as the “golden screwdriver”.


#111

An actual 60 KWh battery should have less mass than a 75 KWh battery, giving the car better handling characteristics. Instead the cheaper car has to lug around a dead weight.


#112

I would argue that allowing owners and hobbyists to alter the software/firmware of any vehicle is a risk when there are self driving vehicles on the road.


#113

The name of a Bond villain and the powers of a god. What’s not to fear?


#114

What if you disable remote access, possibly by removing a sim card?


#115

Depends on the details. What if the machine is preferentially killing bicycle riders?


#116

Unless, of course, someone improved the battery tech, making a higher-capacity cell of the same mass. Hmm. Improved battery chemistry? At Tesla? Could be.

But perhaps the improved battery chemisty is somewhat more expensive, so the new 75 kwh pack might cost more— and, at any rate, it will support a higher price point, since people will pay extra for extra range. So they charge more, either to keep up with increased costs, or to improve their margins (or both).

But losing the 60 kwh option will lose you some low-end bargain-hunter sales. They really want a Tesla, but they can only just barely afford it.

But limited numbers of low-end bargain sales aren’t enough to justify two different battery production lines, so they make just one 75 kwh pack, software-downgrade to it 60 kwh to scoop up the bargain buyers — but make it an easy upgrade for buyers who wish they’d bought more to start with, or have come into more money and can afford to upgrade. (As marketing data says they’ll usually want to do, eventually.)

So Tesla is minimizing its production costs, maximizing its unit sales, and improving customer satisfaction by making commonly-desired future upgrades easy.

What a horrible, perverse business model.

Demons! Demons I tell you! (-:


#117

Hmmm does that work for batteries of any mass?


#118

Makes sense generally, but what is the benefit to getting the bargain buyers when they have a long waiting list of people willing to buy?


#119

The long waiting list is for the Model 3. The bargain hunters want a bargain, but they want a bargain luxe model, the X or S, not the downmarket Model 3.

That’s part of why the bargain-hunter demo for this is so small, as most real bargain-hunters are waiting on the Model 3.

Also, as more people on the Model 3 waiting list realize how much their up-optioned Model 3 will cost, some are deciding they’d rather have a 60 kwh Model S, available right now without the long waiting list.

Preserving the low-end entry price on the 60 kwh makes this decision more likely, and trades a low-margin Model 3 sale a year or two from now for a high-margin Model S sale today.


#120

I think the point isn’t that you should have to fork out for the good stuff. It’s that people are selling you the good stuff but pretending it’s less good.

They could arguably (see comments above for possible counter-arguments - I personally don’t think much of them) sell you the good product for the price of the supposedly “less good” product.

The argument is that companies who do this are basically ripping off people like you (by selling you a shittier version of the product when they could be selling you the good version for no extra cost) and at the same time also ripping off those who shell out for the ‘good’ version (because they are buying the exact same product you are, only for more money).

Well, I’d say it is if the ‘low cost’ version is actually exactly the same drug only the pharma co went to extra effort to make it 20% less effective.

Well there is that - it’s hard to get worked up about stupidly rich people being diddled on their super expensive electric penis extensions.

But you make the point that it impacted you with computer processors. You could have been sold the full-feature version without it significantly (or at all) impacting the co’s bottom line. They chose not to in order to maximise profit.

Is there a moral obligation to make as much profit as possible at all costs?

If not - if there is some step corporations should not take in order to make more money - is deliberately going out of your way (i.e. incurring some extra expense and effort) to disable features for lower-paying customers in order to tweak the profit levels a good and moral step?