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Tesla to Sell Software Upgrade for Extended Range on Model Y

ByHuey Yee Ong

May 6, 2024
Tesla to Sell Software Upgrade for Extended Range on Model Y

Tesla to Sell Software Upgrade for Extended Range on Model Y

Tesla has recently disclosed plans to offer an upgrade that unlocks additional driving range for some owners of the Model Y. This upgrade, which involves a software update, comes with a price tag ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, depending on the battery model.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed on social media that the Standard Range rear-wheel drive Model Ys sold in the past few months have a battery capacity greater than the advertised 260 miles. Following regulatory approval, Tesla will offer to increase the range by 40 to 60 miles.

The announcement aligns with Tesla’s previous practices of selling cars with software-locked capabilities. Similar instances occurred as far back as 2016 with the Model S 70, whose actual 75kWh battery capacity was initially limited to 70kWh and could be fully unlocked for an additional fee.

This strategy is not unique to Tesla but part of a broader trend in the auto industry where manufacturers use software locks to control access to certain features of their vehicles. This approach allows car makers to offer upgrades and enhancements through over-the-air updates, which can include improvements in performance or even basic comfort features like heated seats.

Tesla recently updated its lineup to replace the Standard Range Model Y with a version that boasts a 320-mile range, priced $2,000 higher than the former. The newer model starts at $44,990, which could be reduced to approximately $37,490 for buyers eligible for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit.

The practice of using software to lock and later unlock vehicle features has been adopted by several other car manufacturers. For example, Polestar and Mercedes-Benz have both introduced similar updates that enhance vehicle performance for a fee. BMW had also experimented with this model by initially requiring a subscription for the use of Apple CarPlay and heated seats, although the plan to charge for heated seats was eventually scrapped.

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Featured Image courtesy of ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP via Getty Images

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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