Elon Musk just revealed the full details on Tesla's proposed fix for the "range anxiety" that could be stopping consumers from purchasing a Model S. As we've said before, the perceived issue affects all electric vehicles, but Musk and Tesla have every interest in erasing it from the minds of car shoppers.
According to Musk, the answer has two parts. An imminent software update will introduce a new Range Assurance application, which will run constantly in the background — even when turn-by-turn navigation isn't being used — communicating in real time with Tesla's network of superchargers and destination chargers. Range Assurance will discard chargers that are in heavy use, but more importantly, it will warn a Model S driver when they stray too far out of range. "This makes it effectively impossible for a Model S driver to run out of range unintentionally," said Musk.
Tesla is also introducing a Trip Planner that will also communicate with Tesla's fleet (and chargers), giving drivers a better preview of how they'll fare on long-distance trips. Musk was adamant that for Tesla drivers, range anxiety isn't much of a concern — owing to the company's growing map of supercharger locations. The update, version 6.2 of the Model S firmware, will be released within two weeks.