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


Showing my age here (in two ways), but the first time I owned a car that could go 0-60 in under 12sec, I thought I was Don Garlits.


It’s for the environment. Much less CO2 in the atmosphere if only the rich and powerful can afford to fly.


It’s almost as if you addressed none of the points I raised. But sure - go into a dealership and buy one this week.


A veritable storm of self-righteous indignation here, so far as I can see mainly coming from folks who don’t own a Tesla, and are unlikely to own one anytime soon. Who cares?

It was never a secret that some of Tesla’s 60kWh vehicles were fitted with software-limited 75kWh battery packs. It’s been all over the enthusiast forums and Facebook ever since the variant was announced.

There are other software-enabled features on Tesla cars too, including the much-discussed “autopilot” feature. All the cars they have sold since mid-2015 have had the hardware to enable this, but the actual feature was only available to buyers who paid the several thousand dollar price to activate it. Also it’s cheaper if you buy it up front, to activate post-sale costs about 20% extra. Why no storms of complaint about that?

I’ll pay attention to this non-issue if and when I see a complaint from one of the Florida owners who was given the temporary battery pack capacity upgrade.


Cory obviously does :slight_smile:

Welcome to BoingBoing.


The people who “re-chip” cars will be, at the very least, greatly increasing NOx emissions. At the worst they will be giving them performance beyond the design of the brakes and tyres. This really is a case where a little knowledge is potentially very dangerous indeed.


Is your objection to poor people, or to engineers?


Came here to say the same thing, only this was in the day of the ancient Amiga, so it wasn’t 5.25" – worked perfectly well for the 3.5".

If I remember correctly (and this was a long time ago) you didn’t even need to punch out anything.


Neither. I do object to people complaining about something that has no possible impact on them.


Of couse they should!

What could go wrong?


Well, that’s fine. If you choose to ignore the parts of the article that explain why the author thinks it does impact on you, fair enough.

But then, why bother to read it in the first place?


I read the article because (a) I am interested in the topic of secure software systems and the tensions that arise when there is a need for software to be trusted by persons other than its user or “owner” (I am a member of Open Rights Group and a committed Open Source fan); and (b) because I own a Tesla Model S.

I really don’t see why anyone other than owners of the affected vehicles has any basis on which to be critical of Tesla’s actions with regard to this temporary over-the-air enhancement. And I haven’t seen any of the affected owners complaining – at least not yet, perhaps they have more pressing concerns right now.

For sure this is an issue that merits debate, however I don’t see any merit in using Tesla’s recent actions as a stick with which to beat the company or Elon Musk.


Here let me dig into my image macros to find the appropriate one for this thread:

So the reality of practically all Li-Ion battery systems and chargers is the fact that you don’t use all the given capacity. Li-Ion does not like to be fully discharged repeatedly, doing so will seriously shorten the life/capacity of the battery. Now that also doesn’t mean you want to top it off to full 100% capacity at every charge either. So in a 75kWh pack you probably have around an actual 50kWh of capacity to use. This doesn’t just go for Tesla, this is all electric cars, cell phones, laptops, practically any Li-ion powered device. A cell life cycle is based on chemistry that is rated off the actual full capacity of the cell - which means a single cell that holds 12W, but was charged three times each with 4W would have been through one cycle. In reality it is much better to look at range vs. pack capacity than it is simply just 60 vs. 75.

Like some people have mentioned upthread the 75kWh pack rated at “60” would last longer simply because you are using less capacity. So Tesla just unlocked that extra 15kWh…in reality they could have relaxed the remaining charge percentage lower and given you more range temporarily on every model - obviously at a minor hit to future pack capacity (using a SuperCharger repeatedly probably has the same affect on capacity as well.)

As far as them putting a 75kWh pack in a model sold as 60… No one looks at power tools do they? 18 to 24 months ago a you were seeing the extended run pack capacity at 4Ah, while base unity were typically 2Ah. Now you see base units at 3Ah, extended are at 6Ah (a few larger packs go to 9Ah). In reality this means the base single cell capacity increased from 2Ah to 3Ah, or a 50% capacity increase. I’m sure Tesla and every other EV manufacture has taken advantage of this, which is why that new 75kWh pack probably cost Tesla the same as the original 60 (it wouldn’t surprise me if it was smaller and weighted the same or less). From Tesla’s operational stand point it makes no sense to continue to have two batteries when one can be utilized for both applications and the consumer end result is no different.


The 3.5" discs in the hard plastic cases with sliding metal guard, had a sliding tab for write protection.


Yep, sure I could, but I don’t want to. I’ll wait. Other than immediate availability, I see zero upside in the Bolt. It’s a serious e-car (unlike the deeply flawed i3, e-Golf and Leaf), but to me it’s still a bit of a noddy-car.




What’s wrong with the Leaf–other than the very short range. Just over 100 miles.

I have been pondering getting a used one for commuting.


It’s my understanding that more recent Li-ion battery chemistry has meant that the original form-factor for individual cells (which was somewhat arbitrary to begin with) is no longer optimal, and that the new batteries use different size/shape cells. This is what the giga-factory was designed for. The discontinuation of the native 60kwh battery may be a consequence of the battery production facility being re-tooled for the new configuration which (perhaps) naturally gets 75kwh in the same overall battery pack. To produce a new native 60kwh pack maybe made no sense.


John Deere has hardware DRM for all kinds of essential and accessory components on their modern stuff, and the only (legal) way to get something fixed or upgraded is to pay a huge premium and wait for a traveling authorized person to come and license it for you.


I take it you’ve never met a law professor? :slight_smile:


You make a good point. Most people don’t need the range they think they do. The 2018 also looks a much improved car, I’ll admit. The Renault version is perhaps even more appealing.

But for me, it is partly because they are ugly, and because my commute is taken care of by my bicycle. Our only car is a mini-van that my wife uses to schlep many people and much stuff all-over. A Leaf wouldn’t work for us very easily as our only car. A Model X would likely be OK but $$$! By 2019 we will hopefully be in a position to switch to a smaller car, with the children being more independent. Hence the Model 3 reservation. The Leaf may be a great option for you. Also consider an e-bike. Those things are awesome!