Like most electrics, Teslas are generally known as environmentally conscious vehicles. They don’t burn a drop of fuel or spout any harmful emissions from their nonexistent tailpipes, but we had no idea just how eco-friendly they really were. According to a new test by the brand, the new Model X and Model S can literally cleanse the air of deadly chemicals, both inside the car and out.
In a blog post published Monday, Tesla detailed its state-of-the-art HEPA filtration system, which includes what is arguably the best-named feature of all time — Bioweapon Defense Mode. It sounds a bit cartoony at first, but according to the automaker, it’s powerful enough to protect vehicle occupants from a military-grade chemical attack, meaning everyday pollutants don’t stand a chance.
“Health and safety are important to us,” says Tesla. “Just as we’ve designed Model S and Model X to avoid collisions or protect their occupants when one happens, we felt compelled to protect them against the statistically more relevant hazard of air pollution. Inspired by the air-filtration systems used in hospitals, clean rooms, and the space industry, we developed a HEPA filtration system capable of stripping the outside air of pollen, bacteria, and pollution before they enter the cabin and systematically scrubbing the air inside the cabin to eliminate any trace of these particles.”
The result, says Tesla, is a system that is “hundreds of times” more capable at improving air quality than the filters you’ll find in most cars.
To test Bioweapon Defense Mode, the automaker drove a Model X through the smog-ridden cityscapes of California, but later decided to stage an extreme experiment inside a controlled environment. Essentially, Tesla put the SUV inside of a giant plastic bubble, pumped it full of toxins, and flipped on Bioweapon Defense Mode. In less than two minutes, the HEPA filters had brought the air inside the cabin back down to hospitable levels, and as you can see on the graph above, the Model X even purified the surrounding environment somewhat.
“Bioweapon Defense Mode is not a marketing statement, it is real,” the brand proclaims. “You can literally survive a military-grade bio attack by sitting in your car.”
Let’s hope we never have to find that out for real.