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Tesla Marketing Ploy “Bioweapon Defense Mode” Feature Attracts Attention

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As part of a directive to promote the environmental friendliness of the new Tesla models, the automotive company We_tried_Bioweapon_Defense_Mode-551ecb7a3787dddbefc75930264bcb8fhas recently promoted a “Bioweapon Defense Mode” feature for new vehicles that supposedly protects the inside of vehicles from outer environmental conditions that match a hypothetical, concerted effort to poison those inside the vehicle. The company wants to demonstrate that its air filters are so powerful that they not only keep the air clean inside their cars but also purify the air beyond normal conditions. The PR stunt has drawn a great deal of attention and has featured in notable publications across the world. Although cabin filters have been in cars for decades, Tesla’s HEPA-compliant air filters go beyond traditional standards to ensure an air clairity within cars that has dubious application to real world conditions. The probability that normal consumers would enter near-lethal environmental conditions is close to zero, but the company has effectively used the situation and their cars’ preparedness for it in order to promote their new line. Although the technology could be useful in densely populated and highly polluted urban areas like major metropolitan areas in China, the campaign exists more as an elaborate form of advertising than a sincere attempt to improve the functionality of Tesla cars. The advertising campaign has worked: TechCrunch recently stated that “Tesla is going to sell so many cars” because they target an emerging market of upper class environmentalists: “People who care both about the air they breathe and about not being part of the problem.” It will be interesting to see if the attraction to the air filters fades over the next couple of months or sustains itself past the launch date of Tesla’s upcoming round of cars.

Thomas Barnett




  1. adamsm19

    Is this a feature that Tesla plans to offer on production models or is it simply a publicity stunt? It seems a bit strange that Tesla would invest money in powerful air filters at a time when they are trying to expand their market share by offering a less expensive model in the near future.

    May 4, 2016
  2. schwartzh19

    At the price point of the Model S and Model X, it doesn’t seem to be too outlandish to incorporate a high performance air filter such as the one stated above. Given the problems with smog in Telsa’s target areas (Los Angeles and China), it may be enough to convince buyers to switch from other high end luxury brands. Additionally, the Model S is one of the highest rated vehicles of all time, so this is a simple way to further improve the vehicle and generate buzz.

    May 4, 2016
  3. frankn18

    With all the media attention posing on Tesla’s ability to scale and deliver new orders, it seems that this is a ploy to distract people from underlying problems. It’s quite outlandish to think that the filters within a car are being used as a selling point. It’s almost as if they acquired the technology, or previously developed it, to add in as another rogue feature. Tesla has a higher number of recalls and warranty repairs than other manufacturers. By complicating smaller details, such as filters, I can only expect these claims will spike even higher.

    May 4, 2016
  4. platte16

    This is an interesting feature. I would expect this to increase demand in areas such as LA where bad air quality is a major issue. On the other hand, I wonder if this is a technique to break into the Chinese car market because air quality is even more of an issue in China than the U.S.

    May 5, 2016
  5. Let me view this from a different direction: the efforts of car makers to keep vehicles free of undesirable odors. Air conditioners operate by passing a flow of air through a radiator that contains refrigerant. That causes condensation, a great environment for breeding smelly mildew. HEPA filters won’t stop this oder, but may help a bit. There are other approaches, including using coatings that inhibit bacterial growth in a way that normal aluminum does not. But there are also ozone generators and charged particle generators, which kill bacteria and eliminate pollen without requiring special filters that then need a large air pressure differential – that is, energy – to pull the air through. An ion generator can have a trivial current draw, ozone generators only a bit more.

    May 7, 2016
  6. brewsterw18

    Personally, I think this will generate a lot of support in areas where air quality is poor and from those advocates of a more environmentally friendly world. However, I’m not truly sold on how their air conditioner is a better source of cleaner air. Professor Smitka’s explanation helps above, but I feel as if, as a consumer, this stunt wouldn’t necessarily sell me to buy one of these vehicles because personally, I’d rather keep the air conditioning off and drive with the windows down. But like Henry said above, this will definitely allow Telsa to attract the huge markets of the state of California, specifically L.A., and China.

    May 19, 2016

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