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Tesla tests its HEPA Filter and “Bioweapon Defense Mode” under extreme conditions of 1,000 µg/m3 of PM2.5

At the launch of the Model X, Elon Musk touched on the vehicle’s oversized HEPA filters, claiming that “We can’t even detect any viruses or bacteria or spores. Zero come through. If there is ever an apocalyptic scenario, just press the bioweapon defense mode button.” (Earlier post.) While bioweapons experts were skeptical of the full scope of the claim, Tesla has gone on to demonstrate that the filter is very effective against extreme concentrations of PM2.5 particles.

Tesla placed a Model X in a large bubble contaminated with 1,000 µg/m3 of PM2.5; the EPA’s “good” air quality index has a limit of 12 µg/m3. Tesla engineers closed the doors and activated Bioweapon Defense Mode.

In less than two minutes, the HEPA filtration system had scrubbed the air in Model X, bringing pollution levels from 1,000 µg/m3 to levels so low as to be undetectable by the instruments.


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%.

Tesla said it will continue to improve the micro-geometry and chemical passivation defenses in the primary and secondary filters, which are easily replaceable.


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The HEPA filter is a 3000 USD option for Model S and a 4500 USD option for Model X. However, it is bundled with a range of other stuff as well so actual expense for the HEPA filter is much less.

I bet the very recent addition of the HEPA filter option for Model S will do wonders to Tesla’s sales in China. It is a matter of life and death in that Country quite literally because of insane levels of life-shortening air pollution. No other car in the world but Tesla has HEPA filters. That is a testimony of Tesla’s excellence at innovation that extends far beyond power train revolutions. For example, Tesla also made the world first falcon doors, the world’s first panoramic front windshield (in Model X) and soon with the Model 3 the world’s first panoramic rear windshield.

I wish Tesla would sell these HEPA filters for private homes as well with associated air pumps so that it would be easy to order and install a clean air solution for your home.

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Here is a link to Tesla’s announcement about their HEPA filter tests that is far more informative about this very important problem (air-pollution) that kill 3 million people per year globally or three times more than the vehicles kill in traffic accidents.


Will be very useful in many large cities in China, Mexico and where air pollution is a major problem?

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