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article imageGM, Tesla activate features for EV owners in Florence's path

By Karen Graham     Sep 14, 2018 in Technology
As Hurricane Florence approached the East Coast of the United States, both General Motors and Tesla remotely activated features in their cars that could be of use in an evacuation.
Folks will remember that prior to Hurricane Irma making landfall last year, owners of certain models of Tesla's SUVs and sedans fleeing Florida ahead of the storm were surprised to discover their vehicles were getting 30 to 40 miles more range than expected. Tesla confirmed they can control the cars remotely.
Tesla confirmed to NBC News they were able to reprogram its vehicles remotely to increase the amount of battery capacity a motorist in the evacuation area could access.
And while there were some questions over Tesla's ability to control a customer's vehicle, the one thing Tesla owners didn't have to worry about was the resulting gas shortage brought about with Hurricane Irma.
Tesla has again temporarily activated Supercharging on older cars that didn't have it enabled when they were purchased and unlocked extra battery capacity on certain vehicles (Model S and X cars that only purchased 60kWh but have 75kWh batteries). One Tesla owner's club in the "Triangle" region has been collecting relevant information on the activation and has passed this along to members.
GM's OnStar Crisis Assist
General Motors has activated OnStar Crisis Assist for owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles with the feature built-in. This is regardless of which plan to which they subscribe, in the event of an extreme weather emergency, according to the company.
“Staying informed and developing an emergency plan can make the biggest difference during a severe weather season,” said Mary Ann Adams, OnStar crisis incident manager. “Safety and security are at the foundation of our services and we are available to subscribers at any time with weather updates, traffic conditions, evacuation routes and to direct emergency services.”
With OnStar, all it takes is a press of the button and a car owner can have access to evacuation routes, hotels, and motels, as well as gas, food, water or medical supplies.
With OnStar, Wi-Fi, if downloaded to the vehicle, is available to keep people connected and informed during the storm. First responder communication is activated so they can help locate vehicles and assist before arriving.
Electric car plug-in site helps out EV owners
Mass evacuations, for whatever the reason, can be a harrowing experience, and for owners of electric cars, instead of gas stations, they are looking for charging stations, reports Green Car Reports.
Well, to help everyone out who has an EV during this latest crisis with Hurricane Florence, Baltimore, Maryland electric car activist Lanny Hartmann has dedicated a portion of his electric-car website, PlugInSites.org to helping evacuees who drive electric cars until the storm passes.
The site is really great, and besides getting up to date information from the National Hurricane Center, you can get storm advisories, news reports, reports of places evacuees can stay, as well as information designed to help electric-car driving evacuees. There is also a Twitter site available that gives EV owners and other drivers a wealth of information during this hurricane.
More about Electric cars, Tesla, General motors, Charging, Help
 
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