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Tesla demonstrates how effective its Bioweapon Defense Mode with HEPA filter actually is


In a new official video, Tesla, Inc. has demonstrated how safe the cabins of its vehicles are when using the signature Bioweapon Defense Mode with HEPA filters even in dense smoke.

Tesla engineers are again at work to pull together a nicely done video that exhibits Tesla’s dominance in providing the best breathable air for its customers when they are driving. Although the Bioweapon Defense Mode is not a new feature, it wasn’t marketed the way Tesla has now.

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 — and they didn’t even say sorry to BMW — how rude.

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To create a controlled environment for the test, Tesla put both the vehicles inside a large air balloon and then released a large quantity of colorful smoke inside it. While the balloon was filled with smoke, one of the testing team members still sat in the Model Y to show how safe it is to sit inside in this situation.

The video has been split into three screens showing the Model Y cabin on the top left, the BMW cabin on the bottom left, and the portion showing both the cars standing in smoke.

Comparing the cabins of a Tesla with HEPA filters and a BMW without the HEPA filters in dense smoke. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

As we can see in the above screenshot from the video, the cabin of the Model Y looks crystal clear inside 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’s cabin.

“The Tesla HEPA filter is 99.97% effective against particles of any size,” explains the Tesla engineer sitting in the Model Y that is covered with smoke. HEPA filters can even catch PM 2.5 and even smaller particles. And in the era of COVID, you need healthier lungs to survive better.


Originally, only the flagship Tesla Model S and Model X came with high-efficiency particulate matter (HEPA)-rated filters from the factory. So, Model S and X also had the Bioweapon Defense Mode in them.

When Tesla launched the smaller Model 3 back in 2017, the HEPA filters and the Bioweapon Defense Mode were missing. However, there are aftermarket HEPA replacement filters available for Model 3. Model 3 will still not have the Bioweapon Defense Mode after adding HEPA filters because Tesla has disabled the software module for Model 3 cars.

Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode icon in the HVAC controls (toggle to turn ON and OFF). Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Tesla added HEPA filters and the Bioweapon Defense Mode to its Model Y mid-size electric SUV last year, the car used for demo purposes in the video below.

Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode also helped the residents of California in escaping the 2018 wildfires that erupted in the state.

Because Tesla takes the safety of its customers as its top concern, the automaker constantly works to improve it in different ways. Tesla also has its own dedicated crash lab at the Fremont factory that works beyond the normal crash safety rating standards.

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By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii