Tesla goes vegan with synthetic leather interiors for its Model X SUV

Tesla Model X
For the ultimate in green car technology, it’s not enough to simply swear off fossil fuels. Instead, the entire vehicle has to be vegan as well. The car of the future, as imagined by the always innovative Tesla, is now being offered with an “all vegan” interior for its Model X SUV, which features an artificial leather that would adorn the seats, steering wheel, and gear shift. Known as “Ultra White,” it’s the latest in Tesla’s push to become the most environmentally friendly automobile maker in the industry, and it looks as though that goal is being fast realized.

While the “Ultra White” option isn’t the first vegan alternative Tesla has put forth, its initial solution manifested itself in a cloth interior, which many noted seemed a bit unworthy of its $100,000 price tag. So to offer a more price- and luxury-appropriate measure, Tesla CEO Elon Musk teamed up with animal rights group PETA to develop the new synthetic leather.

But it’s not just Tesla that’s going green — indeed, the car industry at large has taken its reputation of being a major global polluter very seriously, and has made efforts both in terms of emissions and interiors when it comes to environmental friendliness. Already, luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Ferrari have faux leather options, and other companies like Volvo and Ford have also marketed their use of organic materials such as soy foam for use within car seats.

“We find that customers enjoy both leather and non-leather options for their Teslas,” Khobi Brooklyn, a company spokeswoman, said in an email to the New York Times. “We are committed to giving customers the ability to build the Tesla that meets their needs and lifestyle choices.”

And as a company that is known for its progressive thinking, it comes as no surprise that veganism is now another box Tesla can check off.

“Tesla revolutionized the electric car,” Anne Brainard, senior corporate liaison and manager of corporate affairs at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told the Times, “and now it’s redefined luxury interiors by using these vegan materials, which are both animal- and environmentally friendly.” So if you’ve got $80,000 to spend on a new car, now you have the option of making it a vegan one.

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