Air quality is a hot topic in the U.S. today, no thanks to the smoky summers that many have experienced in recent years. Due to rising global temperatures, wildfires have gotten more severe, and even areas that have historically seen fewer fires are now being affected. The internet has exploded with hacks for dealing with the smoke and avoiding its potential health impact.
Now Kevin Chau (@kchau) has shown the world Tesla’s plan for dealing with wildfire smoke. Chau posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to share a video of what he called “Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode in action.”
According to Not A Tesla App, Bioweapon Defense Mode is a unique filtration system that Tesla introduced in some of its vehicles starting in 2016. It combines two types of filters to thoroughly purify the air. The first is a HEPA air filter — a barrier designed to remove 99.7% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers or larger. (For reference, Britannica explains that the average bacterium is 0.5 to 2 micrometers across.) The second uses activated carbon to absorb smaller particles, odors, and gases.
Chau demonstrates the system’s incredible effectiveness in his video. First, he stands outside under a visibly smoky sky, holding an air quality monitor that measures particulates in the air. Both the readings for inhalable coarse particles and fine particulates are over 100 micrograms per cubic meter, and the indicator light on the monitor is a hazardous red.
Then Chau goes “in the car and then [fires] up the Defense Mode” before activating the filter system on a touch screen.
Soon the numbers on Chau’s air quality monitor start dropping. In less than a minute, the light goes from red to orange. Soon, it’s green, then blue, and in just over three minutes, the monitor doesn’t detect any particulates in the air.
“It didn’t even take five minutes to go from 100+ AQI down to zero,” wrote a satisfied Chau. In fact, the video shows it took almost exactly three minutes total, though the air quality inside the car may have already been slightly better than the outside air based on the numbers beginning to drop before the mode was activated.
“Nice!” replied one commenter. “Proof this is an actual feature and not a gimmick!”
“That an impressive filtration system!” said another user.
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