Tesla’s “Bioweapon Defense Mode” is causing a stir among Californians. The air filtration system has proven its usefulness in a variety of situations, and Model S and X electric vehicle owners are now sharing stories with CEO Elon Musk about how the feature has enabled safer driving during the state’s wildfire crisis. On Tuesday, Musk shared some statistics from one owner that showed the feature’s impressive effectiveness.
The feature was first unveiled back in September 2015, promising to filter viruses 800 times better than a regular filter and securing Tesla as a leader in what Musk referred to as “apocalyptic defense scenarios.” effective users have shared images and videos of their cars working with the filter enabled, but a new set of statistics shared by Musk quantifies the quality of air produced by the filter. Entrepreneur Scott Wainner showed his Model X brought PM2.5 levels down from 51 micrograms per cubic meter to just seven micrograms in under three minutes.
The stats show that the new filter is capable of taking unsafe air and making it safe to breathe. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recommends not breathing in more than an average of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air per day over a year, and no more than 35 micrograms over the space of 24 hours. Previous tests from Tesla found the filter could bring pollution down from 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter to an undetectable level, also reducing PM2.5 outside the car by 40 percent.
The wildfires have spread rapidly over California. From the start of this year til November 4, the fires have spread across 621,743 acres, almost double of the 316,654 acres over the same period last year. The five-year average for the same period is nearly a third of the 2018 figures, covering just 231,453 acres. Musk warned that such fires will get worse as the climate changes.
While the feature is welcome on the Model S and X, it’s missing from the Model 3 — and after these fires, fans want to see that changed.