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The Week in Tesla News: Hurricane Dorian, Tesla Roadster Circles the Sun, Model 3 Goes Vegan, Tesla App Woes and More

We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend, and that those back to grind are having a smooth reentry. For the record, this is Tuesday, not Monday, so you’re one step closer to enjoying another one of summer’s final weekends.

Related: Which 2019 Electric Cars Have the Greatest Range?

To help, we rounded up the latest news from Tesla, which includes the announcement of an opening date for the California automaker’s store in Iceland (Sept. 9). If the millennial company is making the quintessential millennial trek, we look forward to seeing a Model 3 in the Blue Lagoon.

Tesla Unlocks Extra Range, Supercharging for Hurricane Dorian

Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas over the weekend to devastating effect, and it continues to move up the Eastern Seaboard to threaten parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Much like he did during previous natural disasters, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla would unlock free Supercharging and extra range for those who need to reach safety from the hurricane, whose position and progress you can track here.

Tesla Roadster Makes Its First Orbit Around the Sun

You may recall that SpaceX needed a payload to test its Falcon Heavy rocket, and instead of just launching some weight up into space, Musk decided to throw his own Tesla Roadster complete with a dummy pilot in the front seat. As far as stunts go, this is way up there.

Those tracking the Roadster through space report that it made its first revolution around the sun. The Roaster’s orbit crosses those of both Earth and Mars in a more elliptical fashion. No word yet on when Tesla will install a Supercharging station on Earth’s closest star, but it better have some Smashmouth on the loudspeakers.

Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Bovine? Not Mine: Model 3 Interior Now Completely Vegan

Tesla announced that the interior of the Model 3 is now 100 percent leather free, which means it’s vegan friendly without leather anywhere inside. Instead, the Model 3 uses a synthetic material for the seats, upholstery and now on the steering wheel as well — the wheel being the sedan’s last holdout for cowhide.

Those who already own a Model 3 have the apparent option to swap out their steering wheels for the new synthetic wrap, but at no small cost: Around $550 for the new wheel and $50 for labor, according to an owner who claims she did just that.

Tesla Model 3

About That Key Phone Thing Again …

If you’re skeptical about the whole phone-as-key movement, add more fuel — er, battery charge — to the fire: What happens if the app crashes? Apparently the answer is that you may not have access to your car, as owners reported during a four-hour outage of Tesla’s app on Monday afternoon.

As a backup, owners have a credit-card-sized backup key, but it seems that some owners don’t take to carrying it regularly and depend on their smartphone to unlock and drive the vehicle. If you want to be safe, you could implant the card’s radio-frequency identification chip into your arm — then you won’t have to worry about the app at all.

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