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Elon Musk elaborates on Tesla’s Model S/X ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ and Model 3 air filter

Tesla’s Model S and X vehicles have some of the most advanced air filter systems to the point that the automaker has been making some incredible claims about it.

Now, CEO Elon Musk elaborates on the Model S/X and the Model 3 air filters.

With the Model X, Tesla put a lot of effort into developing a more powerful air filtering system in order to not only contribute to the reduction of local air pollution with electric vehicles but also to reduce the direct impact of air pollution on the occupants of its vehicles.

Musk credited Google co-founder Larry Page for turning him onto the idea and with the Model X in 2015, Tesla introduced a brand new HEPA air filter system.

The automaker claims that it is about 10 times larger than a normal car filter (pictured above) and it is “100 times more effective than premium automotive filters” as it removes “at least 99.97% of fine particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, as well as bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold spores.”

Tesla has since introduced the same air filter in the Model S and it has come back into focus this week after an owner claimed that is helped his daughter with her asthma:

After sharing the story, Musk elaborated on other features of the air filter system and added that the option will not be available in the Model 3:

Model S & X also have an acid gas filter, an alkaline gas filter & a carbon monoxide detector that autoswitches car to recirc mode. We should prob tell people about this more. Filters are giant, so too big to fit in Model 3.

The CEO claims that the Model 3’s air filter should be “second best in the world” after the one in Model S and Model X.

The company tested the system by placing a vehicle in a large bubble with polluted air:

A Model X was placed in a large bubble contaminated with extreme levels of pollution (1,000 µg/m3 of PM2.5 vs. the EPA’s “good” air quality index limit of 12 µg/m3). We then closed the falcon doors and activated Bioweapon Defense Mode.

Here’s what happened after it was activated:biohazard-linegraph

Naming the feature as ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ was seen as a marketing move, but after releasing those results, Tesla argued: “Bioweapon Defense Mode is not a marketing statement. You can literally survive a military grade bio attack by sitting in your car.”

Electrek’s Take

I agree with Musk that Tesla should talk more about this feature. Electric vehicle owners are big on preaching the EV ownership because they see the benefits of other people around them owning EVs and that’s truer than ever when you are sitting in traffic in your zero-emission vehicle and smelling the exhaust of the vehicles around you.

That’s when a great air filter system comes into play.

Maybe there’s an argument to be made that the Model S and Model X air filter is a bit overkill, but the air pollution in some places around the world today is simply so bad that even the ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ can sound appropriate.

Now I’d like for Tesla to release more details about the Model 3’s air filter and how it compares to the Model S/X.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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