Tesla is infamous for building functionality into cars and charging people to unlock it, instead of dropping the price by not including the stuff in the first place. For a little while, they sold a 75kWh car that was functionally limited to 60kWh of range; Tesla would charge owners anywhere between $4,500 and $9,000 to unlock the batteries’ full capacity.
However, while many see this as a slightly skeevy way to do things, it’s undoubtedly more cost-effective for Tesla; manufacturing only the larger, more expensive battery is cheaper overall than designing and building two separate-capacity batteries. But since Hurricane Irma is battering the southeastern US, Tesla have remotely issued a software update that temporarily unlocks the battery restrictions for the purpose of helping Tesla drivers in Florida and the surrounding islands get the hell out of Dodge.
The extra capacity is reportedly good for about 35 miles of added range, which should make it noticeably easier for Florida residents to evacuate in their cars, and it also helps that Tesla operates around 20 Superchargers all along both coasts of the state. The upgrade will last through September 16th, hopefully long enough for most people to get somewhere safe.