Tesla is introducing a relatively small but welcomed change for current and future owners. With the increasingly worrying levels of air pollution in major cities across the world, powerful air filters are becoming a more popular feature in cars. Tesla has on of the most advanced in-car HEPA air filter system in the world that blocks all gaseous pollutants from entering the cabin of its vehicles.

Unfortunately, it was only available in the $3,500 Premium Upgrades Package, but today Tesla made it available as a $750 aftermarket upgrade.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk credited Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page for “turning him” onto the idea of a stronger air filtering system for Tesla’s vehicles.

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

For the first time, it’s now offered as a retrofit:

“Retrofit your Model X with the enhanced air quality package.  This package includes Bioweapon Defense Mode functionality enabled and a new HEPA filter.  Replace your current filter with a HEPA filter that is capable of providing cleaner air within the Model X cabin when compared to the outside atmosphere.”

Here’s the filter:

Model X owners can order online and have it delivered at their local service center, but unfortunately it’s not yet available for Model S.

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

“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

While it might have been a more difficult choice for $3,500 with the leather trims, LEDs, and power lift-gate, it could prove more popular now that it has been unbundled from the premium package.

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