All electric cars come standard with range anxiety – having to think about how far you can go before the car comes to a stop . . . and what you’ll do while you wait for it to recharge.
If you can find a place to recharge.
But Elon Musk’s electric cars offer a unique “feature” their owners didn’t know they paid for:
Not because the batteries are running low – but because Elon decided to reduce how far they can go.
Well, now they know!
To keep more Teslas from burning up while recharging -an embarrassing as well as fatal problem with Teslas – the company recently transmitted a “software update” to its Model S and X vehicles that limits how much charge the battery will accept.
The reduced charge capacity translates as reduced range – as 40 miles less than advertised (and paid for, by the people who bought the cars).
This is no small thing given that 40 miles can be the difference between making it home – and making a long pit stop.
Still, better than being burned to death in a mobile crematorium.
Thousands of cars have been gimped by the update, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court by unhappy Model S owner by David Rasmussen.
“Under the guise of ‘safety’ and increasing the ‘longevity’ of the batteries . . . Tesla fraudulently manipulated its software with the intent to avoid its duties and legal obligations to customers to fix, repair, or replace the batteries . . . Tesla knew were defective,” the lawsuit claims.
In plain language: Rather than admit there is a problem with the batteries that makes charging them to full capacity a fire hazard – and replace potentially millions of dollars’ worth of batteries – Tesla decided on the free (to Tesla) “update.”
Which costs its owners not just range and time – but also resale value. A car that can’t go as far as advertised being worth less.
The industry trade publication Automotive News interviewed another Tesla S owner, Nick Smith of Orlando, FL who says his car will no longer charge beyond 90 percent of its former capacity after being “updated” by Tesla.
In real-world terms, this amounts to a 30 percent reduction in the car’s range when charging at a “fast” charger, where the “fast” charging is already limited to 80 percent of the battery pack’s capacity . . . to avoid damaging the battery.
Thus, if the car started out with a theoretical 208-265 mile best case range – as touted by Tesla for Smith’s and Rasmussen’s cars – the “updated” range is now 146 and 185.5 miles, respectively.
Best case. Because an EV’s actual range is heavily dependent on how – and where the car is driven. EVs driven harder lose range faster – just like a non-electric car, except that the non-electric car can recover 100 percent of its range in 5 minutes, without risking a fire.
“It’s as if you take your car to the shop and you have a 20 gallon tank but now you have a 10 gallon tank without your knowledge or permission,” Smith told Automotive News.
Which brings up another interesting feature that comes standard with all Teslas – not just the “affected” Model S and X models named in the lawsuit:
Which is never really your Tesla because Elon and his minions always have access to it – and can control it – at their whim – via “updates” sent over the air which you’re forced to accept else be disconnected from the collective, which means your Tesla will no longer be “supported” by Tesla.
Since software – and “updates” – control everything a Tesla does, effectively, Tesla continues to control their car for as long as you own it.
Including how far – or not – it can go.
Tesla can “update” the range to zero if it wishes to brick their car. Any time they want to.
For any reason at all. A four-wheeled version of being de-platformed. But Tesla will continue to be monetized.
You can perhaps see where this is all headed. And why electric cars are being pushed so lustily by not just Tesla. The prospects for controlling mobility in ways never before feasible have just become very possible.
As thousands of Tesla owners have just been discovering.
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