A few days ago, we told you Tesla’s Elon Musk had a plan to end electric-vehicle range anxiety forever, by way of an update to the car’s control software.
That plan was revealed today, and it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say we’re underwhelmed. What Musk and his eggheads have done is program the car to constantly calculate how far it is from one of the company’s supercharger charging stations, and warn when you’re about to pass the point of no return and not have enough juice to make it to the nearest one. The will then double check if you’re really okay with that, thus making it “impossible,” in Musk’s words, to unintentionally run out of juice.
A built-in trip planner is another part of the latest update, allowing Model S owners to plan long trips around access to supercharger stations, and a more advanced range estimator will take into account things like wind speed.
It’s not that any part of this update is bad, but while it might dampen range anxiety somewhat, we’d hardly call the range-to-charger warning the end of anxiety as we know it. We’re glad we were skeptical in the first place that Musk wouldn’t have some magical software solution to make the Model S go massively further on a full battery.