Tesla has been included in the media frenzy around the devastating hurricane Irma earlier this month after we reported that the automaker remotely extended the range of vehicles for free in Florida to help owners escape the hurricane.
Now they are being strangely included another way with survivors writing ‘SEND TESLA’ with the debris of their destroyed home.
The damages from Irma were especially important on St. John and now hurricane Maria is heading their way.
We can only presume what they meant by ‘SEND TESLA’, but it likely doesn’t have anything to do with Tesla helping evacuate with more range in its vehicles like in Florida considering it’s on an island.
But it might have something to do with power.
Two weeks after the hurricane, most of the island is still out of power except for standby power generation.
The entire grid has been affected with reportedly only 10 percent of the power lines still in place throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands. The community of about 100,000 people is mostly reliant on imported oil for generating power, which leads to high electricity costs four to five times higher than the U.S. mainland.
Tesla has recently ventured into powering remote islands with solar and battery packs, like its project in Kauai or another one in the American Samoa.
Those systems are still reliant on power lines for larger communities and therefore, they would still be subject to problems with natural disasters, but the devastation might be an opportunity for the islands to get off fossil fuels, which contribute to climate change which in turn is believed to contribute to making hurricanes more frequent and stronger.
They are also ways to protect power lines more effectively, like by burying them, and Tesla’s Powerwalls could also be useful to distribute energy storage to provide a buffer in case of power outages.