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Tesla boosts battery capacity of cars to aid drivers fleeing Hurricane Irma

Click to play video: 'Tampa remains in Hurricane Irma’s cross hairs as storm continues to creep up Gulf coast' Tampa remains in Hurricane Irma’s cross hairs as storm continues to creep up Gulf coast
WATCH: Tampa remains in Hurricane Irma’s cross hairs as storm continues to creep up Gulf coast – Sep 10, 2017

Electric car maker Tesla says it has temporarily increased the battery capacity of some of its cars to help drivers escaping Hurricane Irma.

The electric car maker said the battery boost was applied to Model S and X cars in the Southeast. Some drivers only buy 60 or 70 kilowatt hours of battery capacity, but a software change will give them access to 75 kilowatt hours of battery life until Saturday. Depending on the model, that could let drivers travel about 40 more miles before they would need to recharge their cars.

LIVE UPDATES: Tracking Hurricane Irma’s path

Tesla said it made the change after a customer asked the company for help evacuating. The company said it’s possible it will make similar changes in response to similar events in the future.

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The hurricane roared into Florida with 130 mph winds Sunday for what could be a sustained assault on nearly the entire Sunshine State, submerging streets, knocking out power to
millions and snapping construction cranes over the Miami skyline.

WATCH: Florida governor calls Irma’s storm surge ‘life threatening situation’

Click to play video: 'Florida governor calls Irma’s storm surge ‘life threatening situation’' Florida governor calls Irma’s storm surge ‘life threatening situation’
Florida governor calls Irma’s storm surge ‘life threatening situation’ – Sep 10, 2017

The 400-mile-wide (640-kilometre-wide) storm blew ashore in the morning in the mostly cleared-out Florida Keys and then began a slow march up the state’s west coast. Forecasters said it could hit the heavily populated Tampa-St. Petersburg area by Monday morning.

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