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Tesla launches its HEPA air filter with ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ as an aftermarket upgrade for Model X

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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.

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Tesla is addressing ‘lethal’ air pollution on two fronts: with ‘bioweapon defense mode’ and no tailpipe emissions

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There’s a partly scary and partly encouraging trend emerging with air pollution in large metropolitan areas. An increasing number of major cities are reaching dangerous levels of health-threatening air pollution, which is obviously the scary part, but there’s also an increasing number of municipal governments taking gradually more drastic approaches to address those issues, and a big part of that is the move to EVs.

Several major cities, like Paris earlier this month, have resolved to limit the number of vehicles on the road on any given day by only allowing cars with odd-numbered registrations plates one day and even-numbered the next. They are also making public transport free during those times to compensate. These practices have now spread across Asia, Europe, and America. It’s a serious problem that is killing over 5 million people per year globally and reducing the life expectancy of 100s of millions more, according to recent research.

Electric vehicles are an obvious long-term solution to the problem, but interestingly, Tesla is taking a dual front approach that is worth exploring in more details.

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Tesla: “Bioweapon Defense Mode is not a marketing statement. You can literally survive a military grade bio attack by sitting in your car”

model x hepa air filter

Tesla released today more information about its HEPA air filter system to back its “Bioweapon Defense Mode” claim. The company details its testing process and how it came to implement a system inspired by the air filtration systems used in hospitals, clean rooms, and the space industry.

Update: CEO Elon Musk of course Tweeted some background on the story giving credit for the idea to Alphabet CEO Larry Page. 

The automaker describes some of the tests the system had to go through:

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Tesla debuts updated Model S with HEPA filter/Bioweapon defense mode in China today

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Tesla’s new and updated Model S unveiled last week is set to make its Chinese debut at the company’s new Jingang store today in Beijing. The new Model S is borrowing two new important features from its younger (but bigger) brother, the Model X.

The most obvious being the similar front fascia, but a feature that is likely to be particularly popular in China, where extreme smog is a recurring problem, is the HEPA air filtration system with ‘bioweapon defense mode’.

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