Tesla Remotely Extended The Range Of Drivers In Florida For Free… And That's NOT A Good Thing

from the think-about-the-implications dept

In the lead up to Hurricane Irma hitting Florida over the weekend, Tesla did something kind of interesting: it gave a “free” upgrade to a bunch of Tesla drivers in Florida, extending the range of those vehicles, to make it easier for them to evacuate the state. Now, as an initial response, this may seem praiseworthy. The company did something (at no cost to car-owners) to help them evacuate from a serious danger zone. In a complete vacuum, that sounds like a good idea. But there are a variety of problems with it when put back into context.

The first thing you need to understand is that while Tesla sells different version of its Model S, with different ranges, the range is actually entirely software-dependent. That is, it uses the same batteries in different cars — it just limits how much they’ll charge via software. Thus, spend more on a “nicer” model and more of the battery is used. So all that happened here was that Tesla “upgraded” these cars with an over the air update. In some ways, this feels kind of neat — it means that a Tesla owner could “purchase” an upgrade to extend the range of the car. But it should also be somewhat terrifying.

In some areas, this has lead to discussions about the possibility of hacking the software on the cheaper version to unlock the greater battery power — and I, for one, can’t wait to see the CFAA lawsuit that eventually comes out of that should it ever happen (at least some people are hacking into the Tesla’s battery management system, but just to determine how much capacity is really available).

But this brings us back to the same old discussion of whether or not you really own what you’ve bought. When a company can automagically update the physical product you bought from them, it at least raises some serious questions. Yes, in this case, it’s being used for a good purpose: to hopefully make it easier for Tesla owners to get the hell out of Florida. But it works the other way too, as law professor Elizabeth Jo points out:

And, of course, there’s the possibility that one of these over-the-air updates goes wrong in disastrous ways:

So, yes, without any context, merely upgrading the cars’ range sure sounds like a good thing. But when you begin to think about it in the context of who actually owns the car you bought, it gets a lot scarier.

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Comments on “Tesla Remotely Extended The Range Of Drivers In Florida For Free… And That's NOT A Good Thing”

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95 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

I was wondering why Tesla would limit battery capacity via software. I thought it was for security reasons or to ensure the driver could squeeze some extra juice when in a pinch but this is downright terrifying just as the article said. Tesla lost a bunch of goodwill from me with this one.

I’m also terrified of over-the-air updates. What prevents anybody from performing a MITM attack and screwing your car? No seriously, firmware updates should be wired for any device.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What prevents anybody from performing a MITM attack and screwing your car?

The cryptographic parts of that are really easy, though of course people get it wrong in interesting ways (PDF) and you don’t want buffer overflows etc. in the parts preceding the signature check.

I’m not so worried about MITM. I’m more worried that Tesla has remote access to everyone’s cars. Given what just happened with Equifax, are we sure that only Tesla will ever have that access?

Rocky says:

Re: Limiting battery capacity

I would say that all electric cars that uses modern batteries limits the capacity and there is a very good reason for limiting the battery capacity you can use.

The reason is that the batteries aging is affected by how deep you discharge the battery – and the battery is supposed to work throughout the cars life without being replaced.

If you for example repeatedly discharge Lithium batteries 100% you get about ~300 cycles, if you only discharge 40% got get ~1400 cycles – which translates to almost 3x longer battery-life.

And I’m a bit flabbergasted that everyone has their panties in a twist that Tesla does OtA updates, they have been doing that since day 1.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Limiting battery capacity

**The reason is that the batteries aging is affected by how deep you discharge the battery – and the battery is supposed to work throughout the cars life without being replaced.

If you for example repeatedly discharge Lithium batteries 100% you get about ~300 cycles, if you only discharge 40% got get ~1400 cycles – which translates to almost 3x longer battery-life.**

So the battery lasts longer, but you’re forced to use it less over that time period?

Dingledore the Mildly Uncomfortable When Seated says:

Re: Re: Re: Limiting battery capacity

Number of cycles does not automatically equate to longer battery life if a cycle is shorter. It may just mean you have to plug it in more often to achieve the same mileage over the life of the battery.

Tesla aren’t increasing the capacity of the battery – they’re reducing the minimum limit that the car will still run. The driver didn’t have to charge up again to get the bigger mileage. So a “cheap” Tesla has to have 40% charge to run, but an “expensive” Tesla can run on 10%. There may be some efficencies to doing the former, but if the cheaper car had a better mileage per battery life figure I doubt it would be cheaper.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Limiting battery capacity

I suspect that this has something to do with the fact that at the moment replacement Tesla batteries are effectively subsidised – even more so if replaced under warranty.

However their prediction is that in future this will not be necessary. This gives the company a motive for discouraging behaviour likely to reduce battery life – whilst still providing the ability to make full use of the current technology for those who are prepared to pay a bit more.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Limiting battery capacity

Might want to check your math a bit more…
300 cycles at 100% = You get to use over the lifetime of the battery, 300 times its capacity.

1400 cycles at 40% = You get to use over the lifetime of the battery, 560 times its capacity. So you don’t get “almost 3x longer battery life.” by my math, its “almost 2x longer battery life.”

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Limiting battery capacity

"I would say that all electric cars that uses modern batteries limits the capacity and there is a very good reason for limiting the battery capacity you can use."

That’s not the issue here though, as these are exactly the same batteries used in more expensive models that give you more capacity. This is a marketing issue, not an engineering one.

eol says:

Re: Re: Re: Limiting battery capacity

I agree, this has to do with marketing, but I thing in a slightly subtler way. To sell more cars Tesla has to provide customers with products from multiple price ranges. But producing multiple models of cars that are actually different from each other takes money: you have to have multiple factories, assembly lines, manage multiple technologies, have more employees.

So this practice was used since long ago, for example by processor manufacturers: instead of producing multiple models for different prices, you just assemble one production line, go for a single high end model, then artificially limit its capabilities and sell it for different prices. I suspect that’s what is happening here with batteries.

Kumouri (profile) says:

Re: Re: Limiting battery capacity

I agree you have to do SOME overprovisioning of battery capacity in the battery packs (same as in SSDs). But they aren’t only doing it to improve the lifetime of the battery, they’re also doing it to artificially segment their market. Every Model S has the same size battery, but if you pay more they’ll let you charge it more.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I’m also terrified of over-the-air updates. What prevents anybody from performing a MITM attack and screwing your car?

Cryptographic signatures. The same thing that’s kept Windows Update secure for the better part of two decades.

There are good reasons to be worried about this technology, but that’s not one of them.

R.H. (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They were choosing to limit capacity via software since not everyone who wanted to buy a Tesla could afford the 75kWh model. For that reason, they decided to offer a couple of software downgraded 60kWh models for, IIRC, $4,500 and $9,000 less which could be upgraded OTA if the difference was paid at any point in the future.

They’ve since stopped selling the software downgraded models since they’ve released the less expensive Model 3.

aerinai says:

Welcome to the future

Just like everything, this is about trade-offs.

Microsoft has had the ability to ‘sabotage’ your computer since XP with software updates. Apple could cut you off from your iCloud backup any time you want. The phone in your pocket relays location-based information to you every second of the day.

Hardware is becoming software. I think CFAA is broken, not that hardware can be updated OTA. Perfect example is Jeep got hacked a couple years back. Only ‘fix’ was taking it into a dealership! If something is internet-connected, it should be able to be OTA updated. If that scares you, it should scare you more that anything reaching ‘outside’ to the internet is way more scary when it cannot be patched.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Missed Opportunities

It seems to me that Tesla, and others, are missing an opportunity by sending over the air updates. If they required the owners to bring the cars into an approved maintenance facility to get the updates there would be some money spent, as well as better security for the computer system. How is it that they didn’t figure this out for themselves?

If the issue is that they want data from the cars in real time, make the system outgoing only.

OGquaker says:

Re: Re: History is a repeat of opportunities

The only way to compete in the foam cup biz is to burn your cup factory down and spend your insurance settlement on a newer factory: Musk is always building a better factory to keep up..Thus the world has 40% more car factory than product!
In the 1980’s every Japanese VCR was new factory with a limited run, every VCR was identical, the remote has the ‘upgrade’.
When i built a electric limousine factory in 1995-6, a Buick engineer said the police were begging that GM could brick your car safely, and lock you inside.
Future Shock? Just dig out your father’s and greatgrandfather’s Scientific Americas.

David (profile) says:

Re: Re: Software capacity?

Yes, however, we don’t have internal memos or directives.

In the computer chip business functionality can be disabled because it didn’t completely meet specs, e.g. if a FPU drew too much power but otherwise functioned perfectly it was disabled. Because it didn’t meet specs.

For Tesla the battery might well support 80+% of the pack’s rated goal. Thus sell it for a lower price. Updating the allowable usage might mean nothing more than bumping it up X%. As stated, better to get the vehicle and user out of harm’s way.

Time will tell on this one, armchair generals are missing crucial data. Doesn’t mean they won’t waste a ton of bandwidth second guessing everyone, it’s what they do.

Machin Shin says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Software capacity?

Or if the battery was limited to 80% due to some defect and you remove that limit and they charge it to 100% it might overheat and catch fire.

That tells me these batteries are considered perfectly fine and fully rated for this use. If they weren’t then Tesla wouldn’t risk it. It would be a PR disaster if you pushed an update that causes a hurricane victims car to explode. So they had to be sure that this would work and was safe.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Do we know for sure they didn’t just uncap a software capacity designed to ensure battery lifetime because they figured might as well let ’em burn to 0% as long as they get the hell out of there?

See the article’s first sentence: "You can have a new Model S for $5000 less than before, but it’ll cost $8500 to unlock its full capability."

I.e., Tesla will sell you the same software update (but permanent) for $8500.

Phil says:

Were 60D owners aware?

In electric cars, weight matters.

Were purchasers of smaller models aware that their cars would have to carry the extra weight of the larger battery and that it would negatively impact range? Or are they given slightly more than 60D to compensate. If so, that still makes the 60D less energy efficient by weight.

Anonymous Coward says:

well, DUH

all you idiots prejaculating over the prospect of “Autonomous Electric Cars” don’t realize
1. you’re no longer a driver, but a rider
2. if you’re not driving, then someone/something (software) else is, and that something can redirect “your car” or prevent “your car” from even starting
3. hacking: not if, but when
4. Revelation 13:16-18, self driving car about control
5. man is not perfect, and thus, nothing man builds is perfect (even software)

I’ll drive myself, thank you
(see hating, tin foil, conspiracy theorist comments below)

Anonymous Coward says:

Batteries wear proportional to depth of discharge.

It’s not an arbitrary with-holding of goodies, but a spreadsheeted cost to Tesla. Besides the risk of explosion with more wear.

The real interesting point will be when masses of batteries begin to wear out. Then Tesla collapses.

There’s only one reason GM got out of electric cars, and that is batteries still aren’t cost-effective.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Batteries wear proportional to depth of discharge.

That is what i was going to point out. Granted, the more expensive models with the same batteries already have this range. So tesla obviously considers it to be safe, and pushing the customers for more cash. It would be interesting to see tesla’s data on their batteries for wear & tear.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

Re: Batteries wear proportional to depth of discharge.

Actually, for Li+ cells, it’s both extremes of charge that are wearing (not just discharge).

But if the charge management system avoids those extremes, modern cells can last a long, long time.

There are Tesla Model S cars on the road with over 500,000 km on them – still on the original battery pack and with > 80% of the original charge capacity.

That’s more miles that most cars (ICE cars, anyway) get before going to the junkyard.

(Will all-aluminium electrics last longer? Hard to say, but if they last long enough to wear out the battery pack, they’ll be LONG out of warranty by then.)

I don’t think Tesla is going to have a financial problem re battery wear.

Ben (profile) says:

The upside has a downside

The first thought I had was “cool”.

Then I thought: that means they can now downsize the range of all those cars (and others) whenever they want to; that scares me. The fact that a “surprise upgrade” is possible means that a “surprise downgrade” is also possible; they shouldn’t be touching my car unless I consent.

Paul Brinker (profile) says:

Re: The upside has a downside

Being the owner of a Tesla I can tell you that you have final say on any updates that the car runs. They can push an update to your car, but you have to actully select “Yes” for the car to run the update. This is not something that happens when your driving down the road as it can take a few hours depending on the update.

In addition as I said below, this is a software controlled contract term (the extra battery), if for some reason the update went the other way and bricked your car then you would have full rights to bring a lawsuit to Tesla, if for your car was bricked while evacuating from a storm then you could even hit them for far more damages as they are now endangering your life.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: The upside has a downside

This is what I was wondering, but according to this article I found:

https://electrek.co/2017/09/09/tesla-extends-range-vehicles-for-free-in-florida-escape-hurricane-irma/

“While he didn’t ask for it nor knew why it changed, Tesla had temporarily unlocked the remaining 15 kWh of the car’s software-limited battery pack option to facilitate the owner’s evacuation.”

It sounds like the prompt can be bypassed?

If you need to assent to the upgrade then I really don’t see how it’s supposed to be a problem.. In that case it’s just easier than taking it to the dealer to upgrade

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Re: The upside has a downside

"Being the owner of a Tesla I can tell you that you have final say on any updates that the car runs. They can push an update to your car, but you have to actully select "Yes" for the car to run the update."

And all you can do is trust that that’s actually true, because you have no way of knowing/proving otherwise. It’s not like other companies haven’t been caught out doing something they said they weren’t.

*"This is not something that happens when your driving down the road as it can take a few hours depending on the update."

They know when you’re not driving down the road…

TechDescartes (profile) says:

Tesla (Re)Coil

The first thing you need to understand is that while Tesla sells different version of its Model S, with different ranges, the range is actually entirely software-dependent. That is, it uses the same batteries in different cars — it just limits how much they’ll charge via software.

So one’s a Model S and one’s a Model-less?

David says:

And now for something completely different.

Last year I finally found the "tlp" utility for my Thinkpad laptop that allows me to stop the battery charging when it reaches 79% of a full charge.

Since then it has retained its overall capacity of 43%. A year prior to that, it had 100%.

Charging lithium cells to 100% of capacity is not doing them a favor. Yes, it’s nice in an emergency. But if you don’t need it, you are much better off not using them fully.

Paul Brinker (profile) says:

This is not as bad as it sounds

First off this is a contract as part of the purchase of the car, as part of your price your agreeing to the lower price now for the ability to buy the additional battery as an upgrade. In fact for most of the time its not even a stupid idea because the car will charge faster and 100% charge is actully only 80% of the battery’s full charge.

This trade off allows the battery to last longer and is not a bad deal given you get diminishing returns on charge speed over 80% full anyway.

Could you hack the car? Sure! But then Tesla does not have to provide you with OTA updates as you totally messed with the computer control system.

Point is, you can buy things with software limited features as an element of the contract. On top of this Tesla makes it very clear what is happening as well as clear results if you “go Around” and hack the computer.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This is not as bad as it sounds

as part of your price your agreeing to the lower price now for the ability to buy the additional battery as an upgrade

You buy the entire battery now, you can buy new software for an upgrade. That’s not the same thing.

because the car will charge faster

Car charges at the exact same speed, it just says full when it’s at a lower charge.

Could you hack the car? Sure!

Considering that you previously stated in your post that this limitation is part of the contract, the fact that you claim it’s legal is astounding. That’s a very clear contract violation. Even absent that though, it’s breaking several laws. A fair use defense may get around those (though not the contract angle), depending on if the courts/ Library of Congress consider it to be more like jailbreaking an iphone, or more like attempting third party repairs to a Deere tractor.

Rocky says:

Re: Re: This is not as bad as it sounds

It’s amazing how many ‘Anonymous’ lawyers there are on the internet that specializes in every conceivable niche-aspect of the law.

The car already has all the functionality it needs, what you as a customer are paying for with the longer range is the convenience of fewer stops to charge the car.

The price-hike for the longer range has a very real reason, the increased wear-and-tear on the battery increases the likelyhood of a failure and Tesla needing to replace the pack inside the warranty-period and the cost of that must come from somewhere.

You probably could hack the car to use the full capacity of the battery but don’t expect any warranties to be valid afterwards.

Paul Brinker (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is not as bad as it sounds

This is a bigger deal then you might think,

Charging a Tesla from 20% to 60% takes less then 30 min at a supercharger. 60% to 80% takes about 15 more min. 80% to 100% can easily take an additional hr as the battery simply wont charge as fast anymore. This is why most drivers stop at 80%.

OldMugwump (profile) says:

Simple workarounds

If this is scary, it was scary before Tesla unlocked the full battery capacity for the hurricane – doing that was a good thing regardless.

The scary thing of course is the potential for the manufacturer (or the police, or a hacker…) to brick a car remotely.

There are 2 simple workarounds to deal with that, which are routinely use in other industries:

1 – The car owner should be able to prevent/reject an over-the-air firmware update or commands.

2 – Even if the firmware is installed, the owner should always be able to force a ‘factory reset’ to an older, stable version of firmware. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest version, but the car will move.

Do those two (simple and common) things, and 99% of the problems go away.

Rekrul says:

Re: Simple workarounds

1 – The car owner should be able to prevent/reject an over-the-air firmware update or commands.

Any such control is usually an illusion and can be bypassed by the company.

I use an older version of Firefox because I don’t like the newer versions and they have the nasty habit of blue-screening my system. I have set Firefox to never check for updates, but yet it has repeatedly downloaded and tried to install an update without my permission.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

IIRC wasn’t Intel selling chips where you could buy a code later to enable to other cores?

To the MBAs this sounds great, because they only worry about the bottom line. Customers exist merely to pay and accept whatever the corporation benevolently allows them, & the corp giveth and the corp taketh and in the end you get 1.45 class action settlement when Sony takes away features you bought the damn thing for because piracy.

JMT (profile) says:

Re: Damn it, Mike

"Get all the facts before publishing crap like this."

I notice you haven’t actually disputed any facts or pointed out any that are missing. You seem to have missed the point of the article.

"And I don’t see a single Tesla owner here agreeing with you."

Because Tesla owners are the authority here? Get real. This is a much bigger issue than one product, it applies to anything that can be remotely updated (or degraded) by the manufacturer.

Ahrlad says:

Batteries

I don’t know the particulars in this case, but there are potential reasons Tesla might limit battery discharge outside of marketing.

First, even cells that are “identical” will perform very different outside of the factory, kind of like how CPU manufacturers clock their chips differently depending on how they perform and charge very different prices. Cheaper Tesla models could be fitted out with batteries that can’t be discharged to as low voltage as “premium” cells without damage to over-time capacity.

Second, even if the cheaper models have batteries with equal capacity to more expensive models, it could be a question of warranties and repairs – cells degrade after a number of cycles that’s very strongly correlated to discharge voltage, and Tesla might be more willing to replace the batteries of drivers that paid a premium for them – the limited driving distance of cheaper models mean their batteries will last significantly longer.

I don’t doubt that market segmentation is part of the equation here, but there are more variables at work here than just artificial limits.

Michael (profile) says:

I don’t really agree with this one Mike.

It was pretty nice of them to increase the range during an emergency.

If you want to fear the ability of an auto manufacturer to be able to remotely disable a vehicle, I’m pretty sure that one was settled with OnStar in the 90’s (or maybe 80’s?). It’s not really anything new.

Vehicle manufacturers have been doing this kind of thing for awhile and calling our Tesla specifically when they actually used it for something relatively good does not make much sense.

Artificially limiting the range or power of a vehicle is not anything new either. Not an over-the-air thing, but in the 80’s and 90’s, engines were frequently de-tuned to produce less power and better emissions. Most vehicles today that do not come with power door locks include all of the wiring and just not the switches. Fiat/Chrysler sells lots of vehicles with “infotainment” (I hate that term) systems that have all of the navigation capabilities and software and just charge $900 to enable it. This is not new by any means and certainly not specific to Tesla.

Carlb (profile) says:

Anyone remember DreckTV and the “Black Sunday” attack? DiSH and “America’s Top One”? Apparently direct-broadcast satellite in the early 2000’s was plagued with compromised encryption schemes, which allowed a few viewers to download dodgy software and use it to unlock extra channels. The various pay-TV companies were also in the business of selling receivers to tune those signals – and this hardware was riddled with firmware back doors which were used and abused by providers to retaliate against anyone trying to get free TV. Eventually the providers went back and fixed the issue properly by sending out new decoder smart cards to replace the ones with the compromised encryption – but that didn’t happen overnight as a card swap costs money while malware is cheap.

What if this sort of thing were to happen with electric cars? Malicious software writing “GAME OVER” into the one-time-programmable memory of a TV smart card is one thing, but if the same approach were taken to motor vehicles? I can see it now… some 31337 h3x0r kludges together a program to unlock 100% battery capacity, a manufacturer retaliates by remotely bricking the affected vehicles and one just happens to be immobilised in the middle of a level rail crossing in front of an oncoming locomotive. The lawyers would have a field day.

I’d like to think that it’d never happen and that automakers would reserve dodgy software for more mundane tasks, like Dieselgate, but it could happen just as easily as Windows Update (which was supposed to be for plugging security holes) was instead abused for everything from foisting “Windows Genuine Advantage” to snoop and inflicting uninvited Win10 “upgrades”. The lastest consumer versions of the OS don’t appear to even let the user turn “updates” off, what’s up with that? I’m glad my motorcar doesn’t run desktop PC software!

John (profile) says:

Plenty of companies have done something like this

IBM for example used to just enable hardware already in the machine when you purchased a feature. The only difference was that they sent out a technician to do it.

People don’t bother to update their computers with critical patches and it causes all kinds of problems for others. I cannot imagine allowing people to decide to run on version 1.0 firmware forever when there is a patch that would save the lives of someone in that car or another.

Anonymous Coward says:

no measure of health...

…to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

See the movie “In Time” for a partial and flawed glimpse at future broader implications of corporate control of software. -crappy movie honestly, but gives one allot to think on… Life-sustaining hackable medical devices already exist (pacemakers), it’s not so far fetched as it might seam.

Also, what’s the difference between a remotely updateable autonomous car (5k lbs that accelerates to 60 in 3 seconds) and a lethal autonomous weapon system? …nothing more then a malicious software update. No surprise Elon has such strong opinions on killer robots and AI, he’s built more potential kill bots then anyone on the planet.

Sign me up for one of those “dumb” electric cars- no autonomy, no wireless connection, no corporate control over my property.

Andrew D. Todd (user link) says:

The Inherent Limits of a Battery Warranty

A Tesla battery has, I believe, a warranty. But the fact is that a battery is not a durable component in the ordinarily understood sense of the word. Nonetheless, because the Tesla’s battery is so expensive, Tesla is obliged to write a warranty on it, and that gives Tesla a vested interest in the battery’s longevity. The manufacturer of my cellphone does not write a warranty on the battery, but the cellphone’s battery is easily removable, and I bought some spares from Amazon. Tesla’s actions in restricting the use of the battery seem reasonable.

The problem is that there are a lot of people who are in denial about the actual performance limits of a battery. As I have said before, the genius of electricity is in flow, not in storage. If you use a battery intelligently, to cover lapses in flow, you will find that an inexpensive battery does a good job for you. No one complains very much about the price of Uninterruptible Power Supplies, for example. The better sort of UPS comes with a cable which can be used to trigger an automatic orderly showdown with the last of the remaining power.

You get into difficulties when you try to use a battery for electrical heavy lifting, trying to use it as if it were a tank of gasoline. Here is where Tesla’s conduct has been more equivocal. They have encouraged customers in the belief that a lithium-ion battery is a “Moore’s Law” product, a kind of rapidly improving universal solution for everything. They have created profoundly flawed products such as the Power-Wall home battery pack. There are many conditions under which it is rational to use the traditional lead-acid battery, eg. conditions where weight and bulk are not important, but cheapness, and simplicity of recycling iare important. Tesla’s approach is to sell the customer something from the Gigafactory, whether the the customer needs it or not.

Tesla’s big weakness is that it does not own or control the streets. The streets are designed to work with gasoline cars, and there really isn’t much of anything Tesla can do about it, except grinding out dubious performance claims.

Anonymous Coward says:

Its not a good thing, its a great thing.

And CPU’s are limited the same way, do any of you complain about that?

AMD and Intel, both, have for years crippled higher binned CPU’s (where they test CPU’s, the ones that work at the highest settings without errors get the higher part numbers, the ones that fail at higher settings but work 100% at lower settings are binned as lower part numbers) to lower specs to meet the demands of the lower spec they had created. There were TONS of triple core CPU’s being “upgraded” to 4 core CPUs, and there are countless Intel CPUs that are binned for high specs but sold at lower ones. They all use the same silicon, they all use the same instruction set, they all use the same parts.

Again, what Tesla did is a great thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

parroting of industry narratives

“And CPU’s are limited the same way, do any of you complain about that?”

Yes, that practice is even worse, and I’ve complained bitterly about it since I first learned of it- for all the good that’s done… Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Tesla’s battery manipulation is less harmful then most hardware limiting due to the tangible beneficial trade-offs to the consumer mentioned in other posts- in addition to the extra cost r&d and testing having a genuinely smaller battery would entail. That doesn’t make it right.

It doesn’t cover up the horrors of the silent theft of ownership rights, and the awful places that’s leading us. Nor does it make it any less grossly negligent to have wireless connectivity to “life or death” crucial systems in a time when computer security is so abysmal.

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