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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday September 12, @11:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the interesting-implications dept.

Tesla remotely extends the range of some cars to help with Irma

As Floridians in the path of Hurricane Irma rushed to evacuate last week, Tesla pushed out a software update that made it a bit easier for certain Model S and Model X owners to get out of the state.

Tesla sometimes sells cars with more hardware battery capacity than is initially available for use by customers, offering the additional capacity as a subsequent software update. For example, Tesla has sold Model S cars rated 60D—the 60 stands for 60kWh of energy storage—that actually have 75kWh batteries. Owners of these vehicles can pay Tesla $9,000 to unlock the extra 15kWh of storage capacity.

But last week, Tesla decided to temporarily make this extra capacity available even to Floridians who hadn't paid for the upgrade to ensure they had enough range to get out of Florida ahead of Hurricane Irma. A Tesla spokesperson confirmed the change to Electrek. The extra 15kWh should give the vehicles an additional 30 to 40 miles of range.

Pay to unlock the full potential of your battery.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Tuesday September 12, @11:37PM (6 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday September 12, @11:37PM (#567012)

    This is totally unacceptable! I will sue!
    It is absolutely preposterous that those cheap people who skimped on $9000 could be getting as much escape-from-death or race-me-to-supercharger range as me who paid the full $80k price!
    They should get stuck 20 miles back, with all the run-out-of-gas plebs! At least until I'm done supercharging!
    F U, paid for mine!

    (do I need the /s ?)

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by takyon on Tuesday September 12, @11:39PM (5 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday September 12, @11:39PM (#567014) Journal

      The range increase is temporary. Welcome to vehicular DRM.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:11AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:11AM (#567023)

        Presumably the range increase can only be received while its connected and charging overnight. What would it take to charge the vehicle but not let it contact Tesla's servers?

        I mean, you'd lose any upcoming updates, but you could keep your free range upgrade longer.

        • (Score: 5, Interesting) by frojack on Wednesday September 13, @01:08AM (2 children)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @01:08AM (#567033) Journal

          Presumably the range increase can only be received while its connected and charging overnight.

          Not entirely.

          Tesla just transmits a command over its telemetry link to the cars which allows the battery to drain lower than usual.

          They could probably also increase the total charge if they wanted to but that overcharge damages batteries more than an occasional deep discharge. That part of course wouldn't become available until next charge, but the deeper discharge is available instantly.
          (Not that 40 miles is all that much).

          By over provisioning these batteries Tesla protects them from deep discharge and extends battery life.

          You can get the same tech on laptops from Dell and HP these days. They won't fully charge and they won't fully discharge unless you make a settings change.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Wednesday September 13, @01:17AM (1 child)

            by hemocyanin (186) on Wednesday September 13, @01:17AM (#567039)

            By over provisioning these batteries Tesla protects them from deep discharge and extends battery life.

            That's what I was thinking -- it's a pretty good deal actually if you _don't_ pay the extra $9k because you get a battery that performs closer to "new" for a longer period.

            • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Wednesday September 13, @05:48PM

              by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday September 13, @05:48PM (#567329)
              Regardless, it should be a choice for the actual car buyer to make: a simple dipswitch between the two modes, not a $9k ransom payment. I haven't been keeping track - have any Tesla models been jailbroken yet?
      • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Wednesday September 13, @03:45AM

        by SanityCheck (5190) on Wednesday September 13, @03:45AM (#567067)

        "Updating your BRAKES DLC, please wait.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @11:41PM (17 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @11:41PM (#567015)

    I never really liked Tesla even though they make some pretty cool cars, now I incredibly dislike them. Was this a PR stunt?? Do they actually give a crap?

    Nothing worse than having hardware artificially limited. Fuxk them.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:06AM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:06AM (#567021)

      I agree - same battery and then they software limit the hardware because of the size of the bribe? Goodbye Tesla. Not even near my shortlist ever again.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Wednesday September 13, @12:25AM (6 children)

        by bzipitidoo (4388) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @12:25AM (#567024) Journal

        There may be an acceptable reason. Perhaps the car was programmed to not allow the batteries to completely discharge, as that can shorten the life. For an emergency situation like this, better to ruin the batteries than increase the risk of death. If that's what Tesla did, turn off programming intended to max out battery longevity, I'm cool with that. I have no problem believing the reporters twisted the facts to make Tesla look evil.

        But even if that's true, the driver ought to have the option to do that, a means to disable battery preservation mode. So, sort of cool, but definitely uncool if there's no way for the owner (the owner is the person who paid tens of thousands of dollars for a car, not the manufacturer) to unlock it. Also don't like the remote control that Tesla has over the car.

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by n1 on Wednesday September 13, @12:43AM (3 children)

          by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @12:43AM (#567026) Journal

          The article is correct, the 60kWh battery packs are the same but you can pay $9,000 to unlock it to use the full potential of 75kWh. This has been a 'feature' for as long as the cars have been out.

          The same applies for the 'Full Self Driving' and other driver assist packages. All the cars come with the hardware, you can pay to unlock it later if you don't buy it upfront.

          Still to be noted the FSD doesn't exist yet, but if you paid for it now, you'll get to use it if it ever does exist.

          • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Wednesday September 13, @08:11AM (2 children)

            by Rivenaleem (3400) on Wednesday September 13, @08:11AM (#567131)

            Frame Shift Drive?

            • (Score: 2, Funny) by liberza on Wednesday September 13, @04:01PM

              by liberza (6137) on Wednesday September 13, @04:01PM (#567261)

              3... 2... 1... ENGAGE

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @04:36PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @04:36PM (#567277)

              With the way the FSD's velocity ramps up and down without warning, I can only assume it's based off of the Tesla autodrive software Mk1...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:09AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:09AM (#567035)

          I like the attempt to look on the bright side and give the benefit of the doubt, but no luck this time. Its corporate money sucking bullshit. Like getting a phone and having to pay extra to tether to your computer. You already pay for the bandwidth, so they restrict tethering just so they can charge more cause people will pay.

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by frojack on Wednesday September 13, @01:16AM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @01:16AM (#567038) Journal

          but definitely uncool if there's no way for the owner (the owner is the person who paid tens of thousands of dollars for a car, not the manufacturer) to unlock it.

          Its the manufacturer that is carrying that warranty Not the Consumer.
          The Consumer gets what they are promised AND they get a long battery life.

          Not fully topping off or fully draining a battery leads to much longer battery longevity.
          Tesla's battery longevity is much better than others, such as the Leaf.
          http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1110149_tesla-model-s-battery-life-what-the-data-show-so-far [greencarreports.com]

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by requerdanos on Wednesday September 13, @01:09AM (6 children)

      by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @01:09AM (#567034) Journal

      I never really liked Tesla even though they make some pretty cool cars,

      I did, but don't anymore. It's bad enough that my Samsung printers are told to die before the toner is out (and I consider this despicably evil, no sarcasm intended)--now Tesla is telling cars to die before the battery is out.

      No, no, no, no.

      If I own it, I have the right to use it, whether it is a small toner cartridge or a large battery. I own it==it's mine==the decisions over what to do with it are mine.

      • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Wednesday September 13, @11:31AM (5 children)

        by FakeBeldin (3360) on Wednesday September 13, @11:31AM (#567176) Journal

        Most sentiments here are so negative, completely ignoring that the owners got what they paid for: a 60 kWh battery. On top of that, that version has better battery life than a normal 60 kWh battery. On top of that, you can upgrade it to a 70 kWh battery for less money than a physical upgrade would cost.

        "Boo hoo, Tesla is so evil! Selling a 60 kWh battery instead of a 70 kWh battery!"
        Guess what: Tesla *also* sells the 70kWh version of that car. If you want that one, you're free to buy it.
        You bought a 60 kWh version? Congratulations, you're now better off than had you bought an electric car with a 60 kWh battery from a competitor.

        If I own it, I have the right to use it

        Again:
        1. You bought a 60 kWh battery car, you got a 60 kWh car. And yes, you get to use it.
        2. Moreover, you have the right to buy a software upgrade to gain more use from it. You most likely also have the right to rip out the battery
                and the firmware, and hook the battery up yourself with your own power management scheme to whatever you want to hook it up to.

        "Boohoo! My car can become better but I'd have to pay!"
        Well, you can also just obtain a different, better car. Likely you'd have to pay for that too.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @05:54PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @05:54PM (#567336)
          I'm curious, would you still be so adamantly on the manufacturer's side if it were, say, notebooks being sold with 128G of physical RAM, but you had to pay them extra fees to be able to access more than 96G of it?
          • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Thursday September 14, @10:04AM (1 child)

            by FakeBeldin (3360) on Thursday September 14, @10:04AM (#567713) Journal

            If I had paid for a notebook with 96 GB in there, yes.

            Upgrading such a notebook would be much better than a notebook with 96 GB physically in there:
            instead of having to find out what memory fits, hunting online for what is a normal price for that kind of memory, buy 32 GB extra memory, wait for it to arrive, and then having to open the machine to physically install the memory (either myself or even going to a shop to have that done by someone else), I just pay money, do some clicks and tadaa! More memory.

            All sorts of incompatibility problems (DDR3 / DDR4 / EC / ...; but also compatibility with how the memory banks are currently used) avoided.
            Let me put it this way to you: if you could upgrade the memory in your current computer in two ways:
            1. get physical memory, install it
            2. a few mouseclicks and a reboot
            and the cost of these options is similar, would you go for #1?

            • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Thursday September 14, @11:55AM

              by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 14, @11:55AM (#567745)

              if you could upgrade the memory in your current computer in two ways:
              1. get physical memory, install it
              2. a few mouseclicks and a reboot
              and the cost of these options is similar, would you go for #1?

              Absolutely.
              1. There's more to life than simplicity. I am not afraid to learn stuff, like how to open the case or what's compatible with what.
              2. Physical memory can be redeployed in the future as circumstances change... because it's mine.
              3. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread and a thousand other places, when the owner (not you) of the device can change its capacity through software, the owner (not you) can also take away functionality capriciously or maliciously. You should not be giving that kind of power to the owners (not you) of your life for a spoonful of convenience.

              --
              Porn is subversive; hated and feared by church, state, and authoritarian busybodies everywhere. So enjoy some today!
        • (Score: 2) by requerdanos on Wednesday September 13, @10:29PM (1 child)

          by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @10:29PM (#567512) Journal

          Boohoo!

          You can certainly sing the praises of defective by design; to be sure it is popular among many groups and there is no shame in doing so among wide swaths of humanity.

          Of course, that doesn't make it not defective by design, and doesn't garner support for it by those opposed to items that are defective by design.

          • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Thursday September 14, @10:10AM

            by FakeBeldin (3360) on Thursday September 14, @10:10AM (#567715) Journal

            Strawman much?

            "Defective by design" is about lack of user choice. As I pointed out, there was plenty choice.

            You don't have to buy the reduced version, you can buy the full version.
            That's not defective by design, that's defective by user choice. And unless you're advocating removing choices from users, users are free to choose to buy lesser versions of hardware - and companies are free to deliver that in any way economically viable for them.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by rigrig on Wednesday September 13, @01:38PM

      by rigrig (5129) Subscriber Badge <soylentnews@tubul.net> on Wednesday September 13, @01:38PM (#567215) Homepage

      Was this a PR stunt?? Do they actually give a crap?

      I imagine some smart person at Tesla realised the PR nightmare it would be for a customer to get <headline>Stuck inside a hurricane because of battery DRM!!1!</headline>, and decided there was no good reason to take that chance.

      --
      No one remembers the singer.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by PiMuNu on Wednesday September 13, @04:51PM

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday September 13, @04:51PM (#567281)

      Software vendors have been doing it for years. The software is the same, you just get a different licence to unlock extra chunks.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Tuesday September 12, @11:56PM (2 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @11:56PM (#567016) Homepage Journal

    Climate bullshit aside, this is a very smart move. Great way for Tesla to build their brand. Because they let their customers drive out of the bad weather. And a great opportunity to upsell. When you offer a free trial, you want to upsell. But sometimes it looks desperate. Tesla doesn't look desperate doing this. They make their customers look desperate. Smart cookies! 🇺🇸

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @02:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @02:38AM (#567057)

      Someone is getting too comfortable with their own troll account.

    • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Wednesday September 13, @05:54PM

      by meustrus (4961) <{meustrus} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday September 13, @05:54PM (#567335)

      This post is missing the affectations I have come to enjoy. Where's the realDonaldTrump I've come to expect? #MakeDTGreatAgain

      --
      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by fustakrakich on Tuesday September 12, @11:58PM (12 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday September 12, @11:58PM (#567017) Journal

    Imagine what the "hackers" could do by putting the chargers on overload like a phaser. Won't that be fun!

    I really don't believe we should buy cars like this.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by n1 on Wednesday September 13, @12:49AM (1 child)

      by n1 (993) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @12:49AM (#567029) Journal

      It's one of the big selling points for Tesla fans, you wake up in the morning and your car has been 'updated' with new features for 'Autopilot' and whatever else Tesla decides is ready for beta testing by it's paying customers.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @12:59AM (9 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @12:59AM (#567554)

      I really don't believe we should buy cars like this.

      Just what sort of action do you propose to take to further this belief of yours?

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday September 14, @03:50AM (8 children)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday September 14, @03:50AM (#567622) Journal

        Guess you can't read either... Let me come in again...

        Don't buy these kind of cars. The "Market" will take notice. It works just like voting, only here you really do need money to have an effect :-)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @04:15AM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @04:15AM (#567634)

          How's your Market working for you with other user-unfriendly devices such as Apple phones?

          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday September 14, @05:22AM (5 children)

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday September 14, @05:22AM (#567652) Journal

            :-) Just fine, thanks for asking

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @03:58PM (4 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @03:58PM (#567863)

              Interesting. So on the one hand, you claim Market will prevent people from buying devices that contain many controls that restrict and limit users to their disadvantage, such as a Tesla car, but Market has not prevented people from buying devices that contain many controls that restrict and limit users to their disadvantage, such as Apple phones, computers, and other electronic gadgets. Market will both do and also not do a given thing? Which is it?

              • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday September 14, @04:21PM (3 children)

                by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday September 14, @04:21PM (#567883) Journal

                Market will both do and also not do a given thing?

                :-) Yes, it's very quantum, kinda like your gibber-gabber

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @04:46PM (2 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @04:46PM (#567918)

                  Your rampant display of your own ignorance continues unabated. Quantum mechanics do not allow for particles to do both of a set of mutually-exclusive actions.

                  Mutually-exclusive actions is completely unlike a situation where a given technology, say electric motors, can be applied in multiple areas with differing goals, such as one being improved fuel economy and another being improved vehicle acceleration.

                  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Thursday September 14, @06:01PM (1 child)

                    by fustakrakich (6150) on Thursday September 14, @06:01PM (#567973) Journal

                    :-) Thank you, Professor Plum. I'll make a note of it.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @07:55PM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, @07:55PM (#568047)

                      That sounds like a tacit admission that the depth of your knowledge concerning electric appliances, economics, and social graces is something an inchworm would have trouble drowning in.

          • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Thursday September 14, @10:15AM

            by FakeBeldin (3360) on Thursday September 14, @10:15AM (#567717) Journal

            ...user-unfriendly devices such as Apple phones?

            You really should explain what you mean with "user-unfriendly" when you're using it so differently from the rest of the world.
            One of the main selling points of Apple devices is their user-friendliness.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Justin Case on Wednesday September 13, @12:04AM (1 child)

    by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @12:04AM (#567019)

    What Tesla giveth, Tesla can taketh away. Hail almighty Tesla, lest He shine His disfavor upon thee!

    --
    Porn is subversive; hated and feared by church, state, and authoritarian busybodies everywhere. So enjoy some today!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @06:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @06:54AM (#567107)

      I hope they do not provide a e-text copy of "1984", cause they might have to retroactively pull it, when the copyright turns out not to be an actual hurricane.

  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:06AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:06AM (#567020)

    Not using the full capacity of the battery is good for it, so these batteries should have a longer (in years) useful life.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by c0lo on Wednesday September 13, @12:10AM (5 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @12:10AM (#567022)

    Artificial scarcity - long gone are the times when enterprises strived to deliver the best for their customers.
    One just can't think in nowadays speak "our consumer, our master", can one?

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:43AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:43AM (#567042)

      This actually isn't new. There are other products that do this. For instance, Intel often gets its different chip quality levels by testing out the chips and seeing what works and what doesn't, e.g. if a core or two fails testing they just disable that core and sell it as a lower-grade product. They'll even disable CPUs of higher grade that are otherwise fine to fill orders for lower-end chips. There's no net manufacturing cost involved. Plus, in software this is quite common (see: Windows Anytime Upgrade, at least with Vista/Win7/etc.).

      Mind you I think it's rotten, especially what Tesla is doing. And the increasing encroachment of this sort of thing is helping corporations erode our property rights through the gross abuse of copyright and IP law (e.g. DMCA preventing hacking, at least in theory, of these cars). Plus, arguably, a battery is even worse since that's probably mostly about material and construction costs, rather than software which factors in R&D since hundreds of new copies can be made almost instantly. But, it's also not new.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 13, @01:55AM (1 child)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @01:55AM (#567046)

        Mind you I think it's rotten

        Me too.
        I'd think that if the engineers (at least) would act the same (make themselves... ummm... artificially scarce), they'll start learning.
        But I know where this one leads: "They pretend to pay us, we pretend to work".

        • (Score: 4, Informative) by FatPhil on Wednesday September 13, @08:00AM

          by FatPhil (863) <pc-soylentNO@SPAMasdf.fi> on Wednesday September 13, @08:00AM (#567130) Homepage
          It's not rotten, as Tesla are the ones who replace your batteries when you wear them out quicker on this deep charge/discharge setting. This actually costs them more, so you should pay them more.
          --
          I was worried about my command. I was the scientist of the Holy Ghost.
      • (Score: 2) by FakeBeldin on Thursday September 14, @10:20AM

        by FakeBeldin (3360) on Thursday September 14, @10:20AM (#567718) Journal

        Mind you I think it's rotten,

        I don't.

        If you can still buy the "full" product, or a "reduced" product for a reduced price, does it really matter if the "reduced" product is physically limited or only limited by software? You still get what you paid for.

        Moreover, as others pointed out, the over-provisioning may actually help the quality of a software-"reduced" product to a physically "reduced" product (e.g. better battery life).

        I think it becomes rotten once the full version is not for sale. But if it is, it's not rotten by the company. They're selling you what they promised, in a way that reduces costs for them (who knows, might even reduce costs for you). And if you want a better version, you can get that one too. Plus, the software-reduced version may have come with a positive side effect or two (e.g. effortless over-the-air upgrading instead of needing a physical swap at a garage, or better battery life).

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @03:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @03:45PM (#567255)

      One just can't think in nowadays speak "our consumer, our master", can one?

      You misspelled "customer". Oh wait...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:48AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:48AM (#567043)

    One step away from "oh, you want to flee the hurricane, why don't you give us your credit card number first... after all, you're ok with Uber's surge pricing, why not on your Tesla?"

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by VLM on Wednesday September 13, @02:11AM (3 children)

    by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @02:11AM (#567051)

    Maybe its cheap and being sold at a loss.

    Most of the data I can find to provide links is for old lead acid batteries. The terms to google for are "depth of discharge vs lifespan graph" and stuff like that.

    In the old days with lead acids and central office power supplies and solar panels for sailboats, stuff I was directly o indirectly involved in, generally a delta of 10% depth of discharge cost you a delta of about 15% of cycle life. So if your sailboat battery lived about three years if you drained it to "industry standard" 80% every day, then if you drained that sucker to 90% every day you could predict it'll die about 150 days younger, or it'll die about 2.5 years in. Or if you sized stuff to never drop much below 70% it very likely could live another six months longer than normal.

    This has some financial implications for home (or marine) solar where the "cheapest battery per unit time" usually isn't the smallest battery that drains to zero before sunrise every morning. That kind of battery is cheap to replace, but the system cost is very high because you'll be replacing it very often. Its non linear and not as simple as the differential equation like estimate implies but two batteries drained to merely 50% will last a huge hell of a lot longer than twice as long between replacements than one battery drained to 100% every night. On the other hand a battery that's never discharged will internally corrode and die in 5 to 10 years even if it's never removed from the float charger, so there's no point in making the "Wear and Tear" aspect last 500 years if the "old age" aspect means its guaranteed dead in 9 years anyway.

    Taking a wild guess that the 10%/15% rule still applies, its hard to get a straight answer about how much which Tesla pack costs as there apparently isn't "the" tesla pack, but "eh sixty grand total at the cash register to replace" is something I've heard. And draining a battery 15% deeper according to the 10/15 estimate should kill the battery about 22.5% fewer cycles. So $60K times it dies 22.5% earlier under warranty means it costs Tesla $13.5K in increased warranty/lease claims to drain the battery 15% deeper, but the story is they're charging only $9K, so they lose $4K every time someone pays to unlock a deeper discharge...

    My ballpark estimate is Tesla is neither losing their shirt nor making a killing by charging $9K. We're talking about numbers that need two sig figs to know for sure and I have about one at best, but I can tell its not an out of line charge.

    Now if you'd like to hear complaining about bullshit DRM lets talk about Rigol test equipment feature unlock codes.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by jmorris on Wednesday September 13, @03:59AM (2 children)

      by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Wednesday September 13, @03:59AM (#567068)

      Yea, that makes sense. Everybody was worried about being stuck with the tab replacing batteries so most electric cars have almost lifetime warranties on them. So in this case I won't say Tesla is being evil. It is their battery, if you want to punish it harder you pay more to cover replacing it sooner.

      But the trend is awful. Automakers tried lockdown before, any modification outside an authorized dealer voided the warranty. Nope, knocked down by Congress. Good luck getting parts or even a decent diagram because they wouldn't sell you parts or manuals and tried suing any 3rd party. Nope, Congress smacked them down again. So now most of the interesting bits in a car, gas or electric, is software and you can't touch it because it is copyrighted and protected with DRM. Will Congress act again?

      On the other hand though, with self drive becoming a thing, how the heck does that work if it isn't nailed down? When one screws up the vendor IS getting sued, by the owner, the victim, the various insurance companies involved, the governments involved, everybody. If the software is modifiable that throws a huge wrench into that feeding frenzy. Won't someone think of the lawyers?

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @07:38AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @07:38AM (#567119)

        [Super Secret Equifax Encrypted Message begin] Crack Social Justice Warrior Special Response Team, Project jmorris, Special Report: In an interesting twist, subject is now defending lawyers.

        Won't someone think of the lawyers?

        The Team takes this as either a cry for help, or evidence that jmorris may actually be a shill account for the lawyers in either "Pelican Brief" or " The Devil's Advocate", but the Team is divided between Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron. But in either case, the morris may not be the totally insane rightwing nutjob he was thought to be? Or, this is all a ruse, like Limberger saying the Irma was a liberal lie, or Jones claiming that the Donald is being Medicated. At least Limby was plausible; everyone knows there is no medication for being the Donald. Monitoring will continue. Seems we suddenly have at least 14% extra battery life over what we were led to expect. Hmmm. [end Super Secret Equifax Encrypted Message, brought to you by Equifax, for all your on-line security needs. And if you want to know the credit rating, or home address, blood type, fingerprints, prescriptions, and weight of anyone in America, almost, call us at Totally_fucked@Experian. com.]

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday September 13, @01:33PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 13, @01:33PM (#567211)

        how the heck does that work if it isn't nailed down?

        In the old days if a shade tree mechanic screwed up a brake job, at least it was self contained and easy for the jury to figure out.

        The real problems in self driving cars are trade secret and hyper tight coupling.

        The trade secret part means maybe some mfgrs are going to eat default judgments as cheaper than giving away all the goods in public for every accident. There's 30K fatal car accidents per year, that's quite a legal trial load to think about.

        Hyper tight coupling means installing an after market radio crashes the CAN bus that connects to the steering wheel controls which due to poor system design makes the second laser rangefinder take extra time to reboot so when a bug hits laser rangefinder on the highway, the backup rangefinder can't transfer data fast enough so it rear ends a car. Who's to blame for all those software and design errors? Whoever has the most money and/or least political power, of course.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:15PM (#567189)

    While well-intentioned, this was a dangerous move: What if something had gone wrong with the update? Then the car would have stopped working exactly at the moment you need it the most.

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