Tesla extends range for those impacted by hurricane

I know this is an old story but the same would be appropriate right now. Yes, this puts additional wear and tear on the battery but allows drivers more range than normal. I assume that the changes are reverted to default once the threat has passed. Tesla extended the range of some Florida vehicles for drivers to escape Hurricane Irma - The Verge

1 Like

Sometimes I find it hard to believe what I’m reading … lol … In the early 70’s there was a book predicting technology would get so complicated in the future, it would become unusable.

Future Shock by Alvin Toffler (1970)

The book’s idea is people can only tolerate a certain amount of change in a short period before they can no longer deal with it rationally.

This actually doesn’t seem that complicated. Lithium ion batteries have the best life if the are never discharged below 20% (40% preferred) and charged above 80% of capacity. I am not sure what the default settings are for Tesla but let’s say that the stock BMS settings say that the batteries are “full” at 80% charge and “empty” at 33% charge to balance between usable range and lifespan of the batteries. This temporary software modification bypassed these settings aimed at preserving battery life to get people out of harm’s way. Let’s say the BMS is reprogrammed to allow deeper discharge (say 10%) and an actual full charge to 100% to extend the range of the car in emergency situations. I assume that the changes are reverted back to stock once the danger has passed.

I personally try to not let me cell phone get below 20% because I understand that is pretty much the inflection point where a deeper discharge really starts cutting into the life of the battery. If I can, I try to charge it up most of the way but not 100% before removing it from the charger. I don’t make a career out of it but would hope that an app would be available to do this for me. I looked and they are out there but not for the model of phone I use.

Some tablets and laptops offer a “kiosk mode” where the battery level is kept at about 50%, knowing it is going to be plugged in at all times. This helps preserve battery life and keeps the battery from bulging out of the case prematurely. I have seen plenty of tablets on display in stores that are bulging out of their casing by the time the new model is put on the floor. Obviously they were not put in this mode or it wasn’t available for them

It looks like new battery technologies are coming down the line that will lower the cost while increasing reliability of lithium-chemistry batteries. These also increase the energy density as well. I am sure they will eventually work their way into everything from cell phones and smart watches to cars.

I did a little test with the charger I normally use with my phone and found it takes ~12 minutes to add 10% to the battery.
So, I hook the phone to the charger, use a kitchen timer and a little math to bring it up to 80%.
I typically get about 3 days use from 80% down to ~30%, then I recharge (~60 minutes).

I suppose many phones and other devices don’t have the circuitry to stop and start charging with software, so a battery conserving feature isn’t possible.

I think it’s like the third time they’ve done that, isn’t it?

It doesn’t surprise me. I think most would be happy to find extra range in a situation like this, even if it means a small expense in battery lifespan.

In my very early days as a teacher, I was impressed to see so many of our HS students reading Future Shock–independent of any curricular requirements. Sadly, nowadays their kids are probably preoccupied with social media on their Smartphones.

1 Like

I tend to keep my phones for as long as 5 years. I charge to 100% all the time. The phones still work when I retire them but the battery capacity has usually lost 10 to 30% life.

I buy unlocked phones that are less than cutting edge. When they annoy me… slow…base memory filled with apps…limited app support… they get replaced

I think part of my problem is that I live in a rural area with low signal. Most of my work is done in areas like this and I also work in a lot of industrial buildings which are not the best for cell signal. My phone is running at full power a lot of the time to compensate for the bad signal and I think this is hard on them. The battery life degrades and the phone just gets flaky after a bit. Plus I am just hard on things. I use it for work so I just write them off.

I used to buy the cheapos-mid grade but once I moved to the country, that type of phone wouldn’t even make a call.