Tesla has unlocked free Supercharging for its customers in the vicinity of the California wildfires this week to make it that much easier for Tesla owners to stay charged and safe.
The move was announced via an in-car notification that popped up over the last few days to those in regions directly affected by the crazy number of wildfires that have been blazing across the state over the last few days. The free Supercharging is expected to stay in effect until mid-December, according to the notification, giving owners several weeks of stress-free Supercharging as the dust settles from this latest bout of fires.
The move came in response to a series of tweets from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who regularly takes to Twitter to solicit input on vehicle designs, existing vehicles, and responses to disasters like this one.
If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know. Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 10, 2018
Some users questioned his decision to take to Twitter to solicit input for what Tesla should do and he simply responded that it’s the people on the ground who usually know the most about what’s needed across broad disasters like the current wildfires in California.
The Camp Fire in northern California blazed through the city of Paradise, laying waste to an estimated two-thirds of the structures in the city, making it the most destructive fire in California history. 31 lives were lost in the fire as well, which serve as a horrible reminder of just how delicate our lives can be as the intensity of fires across the state has continued to increase over recent years.
In 2017, one of the largest fires in state history at the time, the Thomas Fire, consumed the home where my wife and I raised our kids. Just a few short months later in July of this year, the Mendocino Complex fire grew to nearly 50% larger, consuming more than 459,000 acres.
Musk took the opportunity to relate that a warming climate is much like a pot of water in that when more energy is added in the form of heat, storms will be more intense, droughts will be more intense, and the wildfires that rage across the increasingly dry landscapes of the Southwest will similarly burn longer and stronger.
Trump took the opportunity to critique the forest service for poor management of forests across the state. He threatened that if the situation were not improved, there would be “no more Fed payments.” Ironically, California is a net contributor to the federal coffers and continues to fight to get back what funds it can for critical services, like forest management, that it needs to fight the effects of climate change across the state.
Mr. President, with all due respect, you are wrong. The fires in So. Cal are urban interface fires and have NOTHING to do with forest management. Come to SoCal and learn the facts & help the victims. Scott Austin, Pres IAFF 809. @IAFFNewsDesk https://t.co/d3jY0SeosF
— Pasadena Fire Assn. (@PFA809) November 10, 2018
Pretty much anyone who knows anything about the fires in California came out in defense of the wildfires, noting that they were completely a function of certain environmental conditions, with 7 years of drought across the state providing the perfect conditions for wildfires.
When the fires finally sparked, they were buffeted and stoked by winds up to 70 miles per hour that gusted through canyons across neighborhoods and across the state.
The climate has changed. Climate change is happening now. This is a changed climate and it is only going to continue to change. That’s not up for debate and, in fact, nobody is debating that the climate is actually changing. Even Congress agrees about that.
One of the best things we can do now is to plan for the climate we know is coming. Plan for the climate we’re going to be living with in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years. Look to the future and take steps to build your home, your life, and your evacuation plans for that future climate. I can tell you from my experience last year that while I felt like we were prepared, we could have done so much more with just a little bit more effort.
We are building a more climate-friendly home that will use no natural gas and run completely on solar with enough extra for both cars and planning for the next fire. The fight is just beginning, but it’s a fight that we must fight.