Monday, September 11, 2017

Tesla "Crimping?"

Alex Tabarrok over at Marginal Revolution thinks Tesla may have unwittingly committed a marketing faux pas. As Hurricane Irma bears down, they expedited an over-the-update to the cars to extended battery life.
Tesla owners in Florida may be grateful for this mileage boost as they escape the ravages of Irma but I suspect that some of them will be upset when they have more time to reflect. How could Tesla increase the mileage at the flick of a switch? The answer is that owners of the Tesla 60kWh version of its Model S and Model X actually have the same battery as the 75kWh vehicles but the battery has been purposely limited or “damaged” to provide only 60KWh of mileage. But why would Tesla damage its own vehicles?

The idea of offering both premium and discount versions is common, as is purposely 'damaging' the product one so as to make the discount version perform more poorly than the premium version (i.e. "Crimping").

In this case though, there may have been no deception. There is a report that owners may have opted not to pay for the better battery life.

1 comment:

  1. I found an article that offered an explanation of how this was possible. "The move is possible because some lower-power models, which were removed from Tesla’s lineup earlier this year, actually shipped with 75kwh batteries that were software-downgraded to 60kwh. According to TechCrunch, temporarily unlocking that extra capacity should amount to an extra 30 miles of driving – not a ton, but potentially enough to help get a driver to safety."
    The company did this at the request of a car owner that lives in Florida and their evacuation zone was 30 miles away. This shows the company is very responsive to customer needs and took it a huge step further by providing the update to all Florida owners. Though it is offered for a specific period of time it is still a $3,000 upgrade. I think it is great they did this to help people get to safety. I guess by changing the capacity of their batteries maybe they save in manufacturing. They can reduce to the 80% of the battery capacity by a software update and save. It may streamline their process better and not necessarily be damaging their own goods. It could be helpful overall to only manufacture and know about one kind of battery.
    Morris, David Z. September 10, 2017. "How Tesla is Helping Florida Drivers Escape Hurricane Irma." Derived from: Accessed on 9/18/2017