Since the introduction of the 75 kWh battery pack in Tesla’s vehicles, the automaker has made the concept of upgradeable software-limited battery packs an important part of its product lineup. It started by allowing Model S 70 and 70D owners to unlock the 5 kWh difference, but it has since moved down market and Tesla now offers 60 kWh versions of both the Model S and X for a 15 kWh difference.

The company added the update to its online store and explained that it is as easy as ordering the $9,000 upgrade on your MyTesla account and waiting for your car’s next sleep cycle in order for the energy capacity to be unlocked remotely through an over-the-air update.

The automaker updated its website to explain the process:

“To order please visit your MyTesla account and select your Model S. If your vehicle is eligible, the 75 kWh upgrade option will be visible in the Available Upgrades section. Upon confirmation of purchase, the over-the-air process will be initiated and the upgrade will occur during a vehicle sleep cycle over the next 1-2 days. Confirmation of the upgrade can be visually validated as a new digital badge will be displayed on the instrument cluster when completed.”

But once you get the upgrade, you want the badge to go with it. Tesla goes on to explain that you simply need to contact your service center and they will change it at your next visit. You’ll get ’75D’ as pictured above.

The system allows Tesla to lower the entry price of both the Model S/X and bridge the gap between its current vehicles and the upcoming Model 3, while tapping into its huge new customer base of 375,000+ reservation holders.

Last month, Tesla started contacting Model 3 reservation holders by email and phone to suggest the new software-limited Model S 60 if they don’t want to wait anymore.

The Model S starts now at $66,000 before incentives and the Model X at $74,000 before incentives. It’s still an important difference with the Model 3’s expected $35,000 base price.

There are also some less obvious advantages to the software-limited battery packs, as we explained after the Model S 60 was announced. For example, you’ll get a better Supercharging speed than a regular Model S 60 and you can charge to the 60 kWh to 100% every day without having to worry about the battery longevity recommendations.

About the Author

Fred Lambert's favorite gear