Tesla is always releasing new and innovative things out into the world. Sometimes, those things are just for a select few of us to enjoy, as with the relaunch of free, unlimited Supercharging now available with a new Model S or X. Other times, Tesla makes stuff that comes to us flawed, like the bug in Dog Mode that might allow your unattended pooch to get too hot when left in the car. But sometimes, the things Tesla puts out there are for all of us — like the new Megapack battery the company just announced.
Read on for the full rundown in our weekly Tesla news roundup.
Dog Mode Still Ruff Around the Edges
Back in February, Tesla launched Dog Mode via the software in its vehicles. The feature allows you to control the climate of your car to keep pets comfortable alone inside during extreme temperatures. The central touchscreen displays a message to let passersby know that you haven’t just left your pet in an extremely hot (or extremely cold) car.
This week, however, a bug in the software was discovered: The safety feature only works when the fan and air-conditioning settings are in “auto” mode. If a driver manually sets the fan speed, the A/C shuts off when the car does, potentially leaving man’s best friend in some serious heat. Thankfully, Tesla is working on correcting the issue. Owners will receive a fix in the over-the-air software update version 2019.28.2.
What Tesla giveth, Tesla also taketh away … and then maybe giveth back again. One of Tesla’s most popular sales incentives — free, unlimited charging for life at its Superchargers — is available once again for new Model S and Model X buyers. Tesla didn’t give an end date for the special, but if history is to repeat itself, you might want to get in on this quickly if you’re in the market for an S or X.
The offer is likely in place to stimulate sales of the older, more expensive models. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said in the past that the best-selling, more affordable Model 3 has “cannibalized” Model S and Model X sales. So, unfortunately, that leaves the Model 3 ineligible for the unlimited-charging perk. In other bummers, it appears owners who have recently purchased their Model S or Model X (prior to the Aug. 3 announcement) are also out of luck.
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This week, Tesla introduced the Megapack to the world — the company’s largest battery product yet. Each Megapack can store up to 3 megawatt-hours of energy and can convert up to 1.5 MW of energy from a direct current (DC) to an alternating current (AC), which can be used in homes. The new Megapack is designed for utility-scale projects.
One such installation is the upcoming Moss Landing project in California. Megapack will act as an alternative to natural gas-powered “peaker” power plants, which fire up to fill the gap when a local power grid can’t meet demand. Tesla said it will be able to deploy an emissions-free, 1 gigawatt-hour powerplant using Megapack in less than three months. One gigawatt-hour, Tesla said, is enough energy to power every home in San Francisco for six hours.
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