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BMW vs Tesla engineers conducting HEPA filter vs. standard non-Tesla filter comparison test. (Source: Tesla)

Air Quality

Tesla HEPA Filters: Can A Tesla Really Protect Your Lungs?

Tesla engineers examine how useful Tesla HEPA filters really are.

We all know that zero-emissions electric vehicles protect the lungs of everyone on the road. Now, it turns out, Tesla has showcased another feature that helps protect the lungs — an especially important issue in the age of COVID-related concerns.

Tesla recently demonstrated how safe the cabins of its vehicles are when using the company’s signature Bioweapon Defense Mode with HEPA filters when “under attack” by dense red smoke.

In an official company video, Tesla engineers showcase Tesla’s unique advantage in providing the healthiest (and most breathable) air for its drivers. Although Bioweapon Defense Mode is not a new feature, it wasn’t ever used in a head-to-head comparison.

To that end, in order to compare the air quality inside the vehicle cabin while there was dense smoke outside, Tesla used a Model Y against a similarly sized BMW SUV.

Comparing the HEPA filters of a Tesla against a BMW. (Source: Tesla

To create a controlled environment for the test, Tesla put both the vehicles inside a large balloon-like sealed environment and then released a large amount of colorful smoke inside it. While the balloon filled with smoke, one of Tesla’s team members sat in the Model Y to demonstrate the safety of a Tesla.

The video was split into three screens showing the Model Y cabin on the top left, the BMW cabin on the bottom left, and a corresponding shot of both of the cars being enveloped by red smoke.

As we can see in the above screenshot from the video, the interior cabin of the Model Y looks crystal clear due to the HEPA filter while the BMW with a non-Tesla standard filter is not able to block all the smoke particles from entering the vehicle cabin.

Bioweapon Defense Mode icon in the HVAC controls — Tesla HEPA filter. (Source: Tesla)

“The Tesla HEPA filter is 99.97% effective against particles of any size,” explains the Tesla engineer sitting in the Model Y covered with smoke. HEPA filters can even catch PM 2.5 and even smaller particles. And in the era of COVID, it’s definitely helpful to defend and support healthier lungs.

Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode also happened to help the residents of California during the 2018 wildfires that erupted in the state.

Along with the Model S and Model X, Tesla added HEPA filters and the Bioweapon Defense Mode to its Model Y mid-size electric SUV last year. It’s conceivable the Model 3 will soon have it as well.

 A look at Tesla’s HEPA filter (Source: Tesla)

Written by: Iqtidar Ali. An earlier version of this article was originally published by Tesla OracleRevised update edited by EVANNEX.


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Written By

Iqtidar Ali writes for X Auto about Tesla and electric vehicles. A true car enthusiast since his childhood, he covers his stories with an utmost passion, which is now guided by the mission towards sustainability. With over 1 decade of website development experience, he’s also our IT resource at hand. He also writes about tech stuff at occasionally. Iqtidar can easily be reached on Twitter @IqtidarAlii (DM open for tips, feedback or a friendly message) or via email:


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