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


Richard Epstein wouldn’t even agree with that formulation of property law. Because it’s literally no one’s view of what property rights actually are.


It’s your money. Of course by the 2020 delivery date the Bolt will have had
three new model years and upgrades.


And it will still be a noddy car. Tesla tell me that my car will be available in late 2018. So I’m expecting early 2019. It will also have had upgrades by then. Most importantly for me, it will have a dual motor option by then. Range for both will have increased, of course. Will Chevy have a Supercharger network? I don’t know. Tesla’s will be bigger than ever.


An alternate reasonable explanation to the pricing model would be that the excess physical battery capacity means the car will easily perform up to the claimed specs for its package level, reducing warranty claims and other service costs (and increasing consumer satisfaction, resulting in future purchases).


They don’t have one in Philadelphia, so I’m not sure how that would benefit


So just like GM and Nissan, eh? People insisted they wanted “feature parity” from alternative powered vehicles, so I guess we got what we were asking for. Teslas are just like the other cars (only faster and more powerful and with less humanity-destroying pollution) they even have all the dystopian futurism of the latest greatest death-belching petrol guzzlers.

But if anyone’s disappointed that their car can’t be remotely bricked and doesn’t contain tracking devices, rest assured that you can buy these features from the aftermarket, even for old cars.

Exaactly! Arguing that Tesla is profiteering when they take advantage of economies of scale to provide customers with products they could not possibly otherwise obtain seems weird in the context of their business plan.

Tesla’s plan was (and is) to build an obscenely expensive car to sell to the obscenely rich, use the profits to decrease cost of production, build a very expensive car to sell to the very rich, use the profits to decrease cost of production, build a high end car to sell to the well-off, use the profits to decrease the cost of production, build an affordable car to sell to the middle class, and drive the family gas car off the market thereby saving the lives of millions of people and possibly saving humanity itself from extinction.

It’s easy to dislike the hubris of a guy with a messianic vision like that, but you don’t need to personally like him to appreciate Elon Musk’s car company’s mission.


Wasn’t saying it was.

Just pointing out that law professors are quite capable of espousing completely unrealistic and non-mainstream theories of jurisprudence.

Stating that someone couldn’t possibly think something is a statement of what the law is or should be is bound to fall foul of someone somewhere who does think just that - and requires his (usually his) students to agree with him.

I agree with you that Blackstone’s views were rather more nuanced than the OP quote implies.

This is entirely OT and going far too far for what was intended to simply be a throw-away joke about those wacky law professors but:

In my view Blackstone almost certainly did genuinely believe that property rights were “that sole and despotic dominion…” etc. He also argued that yes, the law does allow for limits on that dominion.

Those limits are those that society agrees upon:

III. THE third abfolute right, inherent in every Englifhman, is that of property which confifts in the free ufe, enjoyment, and difpofal of all his acquifitions, without any control or diminution, fave only by the laws of the land.

The original of private property is probably founded in nature, as will be more fully explained in the second book of the ensuing commentaries: but certainly the modifications under which we at present find it, the method of conserving it in the present owner, and of translating it from man to man, are entirely derived from society; and are some of those civil advantages, in exchange for which every individual has resigned a part of his natural liberty.


So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community. If a new road, for instance, were to be made through the grounds of a private person, it might perhaps be extensively beneficial to the public; but the law permits no man, or set of men, to do this without consent of the owner of the land. In vain may it be urged, that the good of the individual ought to yield to that of the community; for it would be dangerous to allow any private man, or even any public tribunal, to be the judge of this common good, and to decide whether it be expedient or no. Besides, the public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual’s private rights, as modelled by the municipal law. In this, and similar cases the legislature alone can, and indeed frequently does, interpose, and compel the individual to acquiesce. But how does it interpose and compel? Not by absolutely stripping the subject of his property in an arbitrary manner; but by giving him a full indemnification and equivalent for the injury thereby sustained. The public is now considered as an individual, treating with an individual for an exchange. All that the legislature does is to oblige the owner to alienate his possessions for a reasonable price; and even this is an exertion of power, which the legislature indulges with caution, and which nothing but the legislature can perform.

Interference with property rights is permissible by the consent of parliament which is the mechanism each person has agreed to in order to regulate society and minimise strife, etc.

That does not mean that Blackstone did not believe that without those by definition voluntary limits on dealings with property, ‘property’ did not give you the right to do as you wish with your property without interference from others.

I believe that is still the mainstream basis of property law.


Did Tesla have a vast conspiracy from the engineers all the way up to the executive to nefariously break US and European law?

Tesla is nothing like Volkswagen. Tesla is doing what almost every major software and hardware company does routinely.


So just like Volkswagen then…?


Not necessarily. Production vehicles leave the factory with a “safe” tune that covers the relatively wide range of engine tolerances. An expert tune on a dynamometer dials in the timing and other variables for your particular engine. In some cases, the difference from stock can be pretty dramatic, and higher performance also means higher efficiency. The closer an ICE runs to stoichiometric burn, the cleaner the emissions.

I agree, though, that people who just blindly run a “high performance” tune are doing themselves and everyone else a disservice.


So, lets say I buy the 60KWh product, then decide I want the 75KWh version.

What is the difference between:

  • going to the mechanic and have him switch out the physical battery

  • getting a software upgrade

We’ve all used trial software and then paid to register it and get full functionality. Its the same principle.

I agree it’s “weird” that the “60KWh” is just a crippled version of the 75KWh. But let’s get over it. The trial version of the software is a crippled version of the registered one.


Well, the one you can do and with most cars at worst run the risk of losing your warranty. The second you’re apparently not allowed to do - unless the manufacturer approves.

And some people would argue that’s wrong too.

More mainstream concerns would be the idea that a manufacturer is entitled to up or downgrade your software without your consent or knowledge - and you’re not allowed to stop them.

Essentially, part of the argument is that they’re putting a back door in your software which can change the settings on your car remotely and that that is a security risk.

Anyone who can spoof whatever security the manufacturer put in place can fiddle with your car without you being allowed to do anything about it. You can go to jail if you try.

Some people think that is a bad idea.


Having a supercharger where you live isn’t the point. They are to allow you to reasonably drive to places that are further away.

There are already Superchargers in:

Just past Wilmington
Harrisburg and
Egg Harbour

That covers most points on the compass and all within easy range of even the lowest capacity Tesla from Philadelphia. There is one scheduled to open in Philadelphia this year. And another 5 or 6 by my count within the “circle” defined by the examples I gave within the next 2 years.

So, on the contrary, I see this a significant benefit. But not if you buy a Bolt.


It’s not your point

Let me amend that - People living in Cities most often don’t have the ability to have charging stations - something 100 miles away doesn’t serve when you park on a street or in a garage.

The Chevy charging app says there are 200 near me - in center city alone there’s quite a lot to chose from. Cities will of course benefit more from the air quality improvements and the populations of Harris burg et al are orders of magnitude less than Philadelphia.


My first thought was: building those batteries is difficult. They must have quite a few which don’t match the full specs for longevity if they are always charged to 75kWh. What if they sell those with a software-enforced limit?

[Edit: @bcsizemo already said as much, and with more info.]


Yes, it absolutely isn’t my personal point, but rather it is actually the point of the Superchargers. They are aimed at supporting longer journeys, not daily drives where cars are charged at home. What’s YOUR point?


If the machine is preferentially killing cyclists, but also killing fewer cyclists than a human would, then fine.


You can charge a Tesla at those stations, too. They’re public chargers, built for all EVs. But they’re not Superchargers.
I’d also take issue with city residents “most often” not having access. Most inner city cars are (thankfully) parked in parkades where charging points are being increasingly installed to match demand. There are of course, some areas where street parking is the only option. That’s true for a Chevy as much as it is for a Tesla.

And right on cue…


We’re off topic here but I have to say - this is a mistake.
A stoichiometric relation is not good enough to minimise emissions of NOx and even CO. It would do under laboratory conditions, but it doesn’t in the real world. Reactions occur in the cylinder head but also in the catalytic converter. The cylinder walls and head act as cold surfaces that affect the output gas mixtures. Swirl and the exhaust valves play a part. A lot of development has gone into this stuff. There is a reason that catalytic converters are still needed despite computer controlled injection and spark.

I actually am coming to think that a major benefit of the electric car is that it will eventually get the petrolhead tuners out of the equation. Compared to the large teams that optimise engines these days they have a little knowledge, good enough in the 1970s but increasingly misguided since as regulatory pressures increase.


Absolutely. But the reputable tuners use actual tailpipe gas sensors to monitor the exhaust. I’m not sure if they are monitoring NOX, but definitely CO2 and CO.