Software Updates: Not Just for Your Computer and Smartphone Anymore!Electric cars need a lot of software to run, like all modern vehicles. But unlike gasoline and diesel-powered cars, electrics are relatively new on the market and their makers are still figuring out what the best way of doing various things is. This means that once in a while you get a software update that changes something that is apparent to the driver (not just fixing some potential bug or slightly tweaking something under the hood that isn't noticeable). And if you're lucky, this change will be for the better, making your EV better than is was before! Isn't it cool when software gets better over time rather than deteriorate into a bloated, slower, pale shadow of its past self (Windows Vista, I'm looking at you)?
Model S Software Update V4.0 - Energy Saver
The highlight of the software update for the Tesla Model S that should be available to Tesla owners in the "coming days" is the new sleep mode. Here's what it does:
With this release, Model S will power off the display and vehicle electronics each time you exit, transitioning to a "sleep" state. When you return to Model S, you'll note a modest increase in the time it takes the touchscreen and instrument panel to wake from this energy-saving state.
Model S will initiate the startup process the moment the key is recognized nearby. You can only begin driving once both displays are ready.
Before this, the car kept its systems turned on. They were in power-saving mode, but they still used some electricity. After this, if you put the car in sleep mode, it'll really be turned off as much as possible; you are basically trading some startup time for driving range. Seems like a good tradeoff to me!
If you would prefer to keep the displays powered so they'll be instantly available each time you return, you can change the setting in Controls > Settings > Vehicle. Note that keeping the displays powered will reduce your car's range up to 8 miles per day when the car is not plugged in, and will also reduce the life of your 12V battery and vehicle electrical systems. If displays are set to power off, the displays will power off 2 hours after the rest of the car goes to sleep. The displays will also power off when the battery charge is low (or after 60 hours without use), regardless of the setting.
Depending on your driving habits, 8 miles per unplugged day might or might not matter, but it's certainly better to have this option available for those who need to squeeze the maximum driving range out of their EV. Nice work, Tesla (which recently became cash flow positive)!
Via Tesla, ABG