Tesla emailed us today to share some important news…
No, they’re not ahead of schedule producing the new wildly popular Model 3, you’ll still have to wait for that.
What was the news? They tested and proved that their HEPA Filter and Bio-Weapon Defense Mode works!! You can now drive through a biological weapons attack and come out the other side A-Okay!
Why This Matters
Alright we get it, you’re not likely to be caught in a biological attack.
But by testing the most extreme conditions, Tesla was able to prove how effective their filtration system really is, and it’s quite impressive!
Your car air filtration system is pretty important.
Air pollution has a significant impact on public health. According to the World Health Organization, it is now considered “the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” with more than three million people dying each year as a result.
So now that you know why it matters, let’s take a look at what Tesla tested and some of the awesome results.
Tesla’s Air Filter System is Better Than Your Car’s…
First, let’s look at what Tesla says about this little-known system:
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 end result is a filtration system hundreds of times more efficient than standard automotive filters, capable of providing the driver and her passengers with the best possible cabin air quality no matter what is happening in the environment around them.
So Tesla tested the basics of this filtration system like any car company would. They ran tests in all the places you’d expect, like on the highway in rush hour. And in areas with mold, smog, and all kinds of other nasty stuff you don’t want to breathe when driving.
But they weren’t satisfied there so they decided to take things to the next level…
How Tesla Exposed the Model X to a Simulated Biological Attack
For this test, they used the Model X. They created a controlled environment (pictured below) where they exposed the car to extreme levels of air polution (1,000 µg/m³ of PM2.5 vs. the EPA’s “good” air quality index limit of 12 µg/m³).
If you’re wondering what we’re really measuring, you need to know what PM2.5 is. It’s the most dangerous type of air pollution for humans to breathe. According to the World Health Organization, it is “considered to be the best indicator of the level of health risks from air pollution.”
Los Angeles and Hong Kong reach around 20 µg/m³, while Beijing can get up into the 50’s according to the World Health Organization.
So when we’re talking about putting 1,000 µg/m³ of this type of super-dangerous pollution into a tiny enclosed space with nothing but Tesla’s air filtration system to clean up the mess, this is no small challenge!
The Incredible Results of the Test
They closed the doors, activated the Model X’s Bioweapon Defense Mode just like you would in a panic, and tested the results.
In less than two minutes, the HEPA filtration system scrubbed the air in the Tesla so clean that pollution levels dropped from extremely dangerous to so low they were undetectable by Tesla’s test instruments!
Not impressed yet? Check this out… Tesla goes on to say:
Not only did the vehicle system completely scrub the cabin air, but in the ensuing minutes, it began to vacuum the air outside the car as well, reducing PM2.5 levels by 40%. In other words, Bioweapon Defense Mode is not a marketing statement, it is real. You can literally survive a military grade bio attack by sitting in your car.
That’s pretty amazing to think about and definitely worth an announcement, so we’re glad Tesla emailed us. They’re continuing to test and improve this system as well as many others as they always do. Not only are Tesla cars some of most stylish and sought after, but also some of the safest!