Elon Musk promises to end Tesla range anxiety

Tesla's CEO tweeted that he'll hold a news conference Thursday to herald an over-the-air software upgrade for Model S vehicles.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk used Twitter to announce he'll hold a news  conference this week to tout an upgrade for the company's Model S cars to address their limited range.

In a tweet yesterday, Musk wrote that the Tesla event, to be held Thursday at 9 a.m., will focus on an over-the-air software upgrade to the entire Model S fleet to "end range anxiety." (It was not immediately clear whether Musk meant 9 a.m. ET or PT.)

This is only the second OTA upgrade for Tesla Model S sedans. Last month, the company tweaked the powertrain through an OTA software upgrade that boosted 0-60 mph performance by one-tenth of a second.

Online discussions about that the latest software upgrade have keyed in on the expectation that it will give Model S owners either a range boost or "a more fine-grained data report from the battery."

"It's probably not going to do away entirely with the problem of driving an electric-powered car in a gas-focused world. But that kind of nuance doesn't fit into a tweet," Car & Driver noted in a blog about the planned announcement.

Tesla is  the first automaker to offer OTA software upgrades, but experts have said other automakers will eventually adopt them -- and drivers will come to expect them.

"As a manufacturer, you'll have to have it to even be considered by the consumer," said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader for research firm Gartner. "We'll see a lot more OTA software in the next 12 to 18 months."

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