Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode

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Despite how it sounds, Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense mode is not a weapon. It is, in fact, a filtration system, which in the modern-day proves very useful against air pollution.

But how good is this filtration system? Does it protect against all harmful pollutants? We’ve discussed everything you need to know below.

Table of Contents

    What is Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode?

    The Tesla bioweapon defense mode is an air filtration system fitted into the Tesla, the HEPA filter protects occupants from gases, odors, pathogens, and pollutants.

    This provides clean air for passengers to breathe no matter the environment you’re driving in and keeps the air cleaner around the car.

    How Does Bioweapon Defense Mode Work?

    When active, the HEPA filter in the Bioweapon defense mode filters the outside air going into the car through a secondary filtration system with carbon.

    The air inside the car is positively pressured to prevent outside air from coming in. Then the fan works at maximum speed, ensuring clean air circulation inside.


    What Is A HEPA Filter?

    A HEPA filter stands for high-efficiency particulate air filter. This hospital-grade filter can protect against 99.97% of particles that have a 0.03-micrometer diameter size.

    Most dangerous pollutants have a size of around 2.5 micrometers or less. So, a HEPA filter can help keep these out of your vehicle as long as they are more significant than 0.03 micrometers.

    Is The Tesla HEPA Filter Always On?

    Source: What’s Inside?

    Even if your Bioweapon Defense mode is disabled, all air passes through the HEPA filter into your Tesla. If the recirculate mode is on, then air will pass through the standard filters, as stated by Tesla.

    Bioweapon Defense mode will create positive pressure in the cabin and increase fan speed to stop outside air from getting in, protecting occupants.

    Can Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode Keep Out Covid-19?

    Apart from providing better air quality in your Tesla, the Bioweapon Defense mode could also filter out some Covid-19 particles.

    But, Covid-19 particles are said to have a size of 0.125 microns, smaller than the 0.3 microns a HEPA filter could keep out. So, it’s likely not a complete protection.

    Which Tesla Cars Have Bioweapon Defense Mode?

    The Tesla HEPA filters and Biodefense mode is now standard on the Model S and Model X since 2016. Now, the new Model Y 2020 can accommodate the very large HEPA filter.

    Tesla Model 3’s cannot accommodate the HEPA filters due to space constraints.

    The Model 3 has a standard filter that still improves air quality and can filter out pollens/irritants.

    Where Is The HEPA Filter On Every Tesla Model?

    For most Tesla models, the HEPA filter is located in the updated front bumper fascia on the Model X and Model S.

    For Model Y, it is located in the front trunk of the underhood apron.

    Quick Check If Your Car Have Bioweapon Defense Mode

    To see if your Tesla has Bioweapon Defense mode, go to the HVAC control screen and look for a biohazard icon on the top right. This will be next to the recirculation icon.

    Turn On Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode

    You can activate the Bioweapon Defense mode in two ways, either through the app or the car.

    Way 1: Touch Screen in Car

    1. Open the climate control scene and tap the biohazard icon.
    2. The Bioweapon Defense mode will start pressuring the air in the car.

    Way 2: App Method

    1. Open the climate option on your app and swipe up at the bottom.
    2. Choose Bioweapon Defense mode from the options.

    Tesla Bioweapon Defense Mode Retrofits

    If you own a Tesla model without a HEPA filter, you can now get them retrofitted at your local Tesla shop.

    This costs around $500 for shipping and installation. You can also try DIY fitting your own HEPA filter.

    Is Bioweapon Defense Mode Effective ?

    Tesla has proved the Bioweapon Defense mode works through the red smoke test. They performed this test with two cars in a plastic bubble. One with Bioweapon mode, a Tesla Model X, and one without, a BMW X3.

    They filled the bubble with red smoke, proving the Tesla X filtrated all the smoke while the other car was full of it. Once the Tesla team removed the HEPA filter, you could see just how much red dust it trapped.

    Why Tesla’s Bioweapon Mode Is Important

    With climate change bringing uncertainty into the world, Tesla’s bioweapon mode is more useful than ever. Protecting you from growing pollution in cities, wildfires, and viruses.

    Air quality is important if you consider how much time you spend in your car.

    The HEPA filter can improve air quality for people with allergies or respiratory issues.

    Our Verdict

    Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense mode makes Tesla stand out from other cars. Only a few vehicles have HEPA filters installed and don’t have air pressurizing features to seal cars.

    Even though a HEPA can’t filter 100% of particles, the Bioweapon Defense mode keeps your car’s air cleaner significantly more than without for you and your passengers.

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