When Tesla introduced the Model X last fall, it had a host of novel features. First, there were those incredible falcon wing doors that set the car apart from anything else on the road. Then there was the panoramic windshield, a one piece affair that starts at the cowl and swoops back over the front seats. Self presenting front doors that sense your presence and open to greet you. Ultra cool second row seats mounted on pedestals for more interior room.
Almost lost in the parade of extraordinary new features was an amazing climate control system. Patterned after systems used in the operating rooms of the world’s most modern hospitals, it promised to keep Model X occupants safe from the pollution found in the air outside the vehicle. Always on the lookout for a chance to give its innovations catchy names, Tesla dubbed it Bioweapons Defense Mode.
The experts debated whether the system really could perform as advertised. They pointed out that by the time you realized a biological weapons attack was underway, it would be too late to take defensive measures.
Talk is cheap. Tesla wanted to prove its claims, so it decided to put the system to the test. A clear plastic dome large enough for a Model X was erected. Some engineers climbed into the car with their test equipment. Then the dome was filled with highly polluted air. Once the doors were closed, the Bioweapons Defense Mode system was activated. Within 2 minutes, pollution levels inside the Model X were undetectable.
You might think that would be the end of the testing protocol. But the Tesla people kept the process going. Soon, not only was the air inside the vehicle pristine, but pollution levels in the dome itself dropped by 40%. If the residents of Beijing would only buy a couple million Model X cars and leave them running for a week or so, the air over China’s capitol city would be cleansed of the smog that frequently hangs over it like a pall.
And that’s the point. Ordinary people don’t worry so much about terrorists unleashing biological attacks. But in many parts of the world, they do worry about their loved ones breathing filthy air. Today in China, the number one consideration when choosing a place to live is access to clean air. The Bioweapons Defense mode system gives Tesla a significant sales advantage in such markets. And other manufacturers one more thing to worry about.
The advanced climate control system is standard on the Model X and is now available on the Model S sedan as part of $3,000 premium interior package. We can assume it will also be available on the Model 3 when it begins production. It will be interesting to see what percentage of buyers opt for the Bioweapons Defense Mode upgrade and how soon other car companies begin offering similar systems.
Source: Tesla blog Photo credit: Tesla Motors