Is the Tesla Model X’s Bioweapon Defense Mode just a marketing gimmick?
The American automaker outfitted its latest model with a HEPA filtration system that is capable of stripping the outside air of pollen, bacteria and pollution before they enter the cabin, helping protect the Model X’s occupants from the hazard of air pollution. The HEPA filtration system is inspired by the air filtration systems used in hospitals, clean rooms and the space industry, with Tesla claiming that it is “hundreds of times more efficient than standard automotive filters.”
Although the Bioweapon Defense Mode has been tested in real-world environments such as California freeways, smelly marshes, cow pastures and major cities in China, Tesla decided to take things one step further by testing it in an environment where it could precisely control and carefully monitor atmospheric conditions.
So the Tesla Model X was placed in a large bubble, contaminated with extreme levels of pollution before closing the falcon doors and activating the Bioweapon Defense Mode. The company pumped in 1,000 µg/m3 of PM2.5, which is exponentially worse than the Environmental Protection Agency’s “good” air quality index of 12 µg/m3. In less than two minutes, the HEPA filtration system scrubbed the air in the Model X, bringing pollution levels to as low as being undetectable, allowing the testers to remove their gas masks and breathe fresh air despite being inside the bubble of pollution.
But not only did the system scrub pollution inside the vehicle, Tesla claims it began to vacuum the air outside the car as well, reducing PM2.5 levels by 40 percent.
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