Holding Out? Can Tesla Unlock More Range?

Can Tesla Unlock More Range?

Is Tesla holding out on its car owners? Have you heard that Tesla was somehow able to unlock more range for those cars affected by the California wildfires? CEO Elon Musk himself was able to confirm that they could give certain Teslas more range. All it took was a software update. So why can’t they do that for everyone?

Some of the Tesla models were able to get more range from their vehicles after the wildfires in California, so it is possible for Tesla to give more range to their vehicles. The Tesla is equipped with a larger battery than the software uses, so it is possible for every Tesla to get more range.

But why give the Tesla a larger battery with more range if the car owner is not going to be able to access it? That is like getting a computer with three gigabytes and only being able to access two. Many Tesla owners want to know why.

Why Are They Holding Out?

If the Tesla battery can give their cars more range, why would Tesla makers restrict it to less? According to Tesla reports, Tesla S 40 has a 60 kWh battery that is locked to only 40 kWh, and the Model S 60 and S 70 batteries are locked at 60 to 70 kWh when their battery is capable of 75 kWh.

Is it All About Money?

So what is the reason for the differences? Tesla claims it was so that they could sell their vehicles at a lower price when the Tesla S first came out on the market. But then, after a certain amount of time, those vehicle owners were offered the option of getting an upgrade to unlock the “extra” battery power.

During emergency situations like the California wildfires and Hurricane Michael, Tesla was able to “unlock” that “extra” battery juice to help those affected by the disasters. But why should it only be given to Tesla owners who are going through a disaster? If you buy a Tesla, why should you not get the full power within its design?

Never Charge Your Battery to 100%

According to Elon Musk, the main reason is that you should never charge your battery to 100%, so you should not expect to get the full range anyway. In the long run, charging your Tesla to 100% will reduce the lifetime of the battery. The battery degrades faster when you charge it to 100%.

According to Musk, you should only charge your Tesla battery to 90- to 95%. These vehicles are packed with a cool feature called regenerative braking. That means when you brake, the technology turns that braking energy into electricity that is sent to the battery. If your battery is 100% charged, it cannot use this feature.

Is the Extra Range Still Hidden?

However, does that actually have anything to do with the extra range that is hiding in the Tesla battery, locked up by special software? Not likely. The extra range in the battery is still there even when you charge your battery to 100%. So, that means that your battery is never really charged to 100% even when it says it is unless your extra range is unlocked.

Is it Just the Model S?

Other models are also being shortchanged in the battery department. Owners of Tesla Model Y and SR vehicles are offered an upgrade to get more range. For a price.

If you own one of the other models that do not have that extra range, you will have to get a newer or better Tesla model to have access to more range.

Tesla Unlocked the Range for Certain Areas

When Hurricane Dorian threatened Florida Tesla owners, the Tesla company “unlocked” additional range on all of the software-limited vehicles in the area for evacuation reasons. This was not just the Tesla S. It was all models, according to the reports.

After this was revealed, the pressure was put on the Tesla company to give everyone the full range of their purchased vehicles. Musk announced that the newer standard models would have the full battery capacity. But for everyone who already has a Tesla, you are stuck with the limited range unless you live in the California wildfire area.

Tesla is Still the Best

However, the Tesla is still known to have the best range of electric vehicles when compared to other electric vehicles. Many of the Tesla models have the largest battery packs with the highest capacity offered in any electric car. The newer models went from 265 miles of EPA range to 315 miles of EPA range.

What makes the Tesla better than all the others is their battery pack and that the newer models can use 100% of its kWh. The newest 2021 models offered 402 miles of EPA range in the Model Y and Model 3. And there was a rumor that they will offer a battery pack with a life span of one million miles.

The Extra Boost Can Degrade Your Battery

And those who did get the “extra” battery boost found that it degraded their battery faster. When the cells stop working, there are no backup cells to rely on as there would be if your battery pack were only using 70 kWh instead of 75 kWh. But no need to worry. We have some tips to help you get more range from your battery.

How to Get More Out of Your Tesla Battery

Getting more range from your Tesla is not rocket science. There are some easy tips that can help you get more out of each charge, as well as tips on what not to do.

Some of the things that can decrease the range you get from your Tesla battery include:

  • Doing a lot of uphill driving
  • Driving during high wind conditions
  • Driving in rain or snow
  • Driving too fast
  • Making a lot of short trips
  • Stop and go driving

Do You Have to Stay Home on Snow Days?

But you cannot just stay home every time it snows or rains or if it happens to be a windy day. Cold batteries are a major battery drainer and reduce the regenerative braking feature. There are things you can do to increase your range when driving in the cold include:

  • Always precondition (warm-up) your battery before driving
  • Do not use the heat on the highest setting
  • Keep the car plugged in as much as possible
  • Use the seat warmers to stay warm instead of the heater

Hint: To precondition your battery, use your Tesla app. Tap “climate” and then “turn on” to warm it up.

Other Tips to Get Better Range

Besides the tips mentioned above, there are other things you can do to help your Tesla get the most out of each charge. Driving efficiently and smart are important. Follow these range-extending tips:

  • Change air suspension to low or very low
  • Clean out your trunk to lighten your load
  • Do not run your air conditioner at full speed
  • Hot temperatures are also a drag on your battery
  • Keep your tires inflated to the proper level
  • Keep your windows up when you are on the highway to reduce aerodynamic drag
  • Take off rear racks or roof racks when you don’t need them

Make Sure You Use the Energy App

Use that energy app from Tesla so you can get the best range and efficiency. The smart app can analyze your driving patterns to figure out the best way for you to extend the range you get from your Tesla. The app is already on your car’s touch screen, so you do not even have to download anything. Technology is amazing.

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The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

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