Tesla Model X To Conquer Chinese Market With Bioweapon Defense Mode

OCT 28 2015 BY MARK KANE 57

Three Filters Of The Tesla Model X

Filters Of The Tesla Model X Compared To Standard Filter

According to China Automotive Review: “Tesla’s most absurd-sounding feature will actually help it sell a ton of cars in China“.

Not Falcon Wing doors, not acceleration, but its questionable Bioweapon Defense Mode could be the most important selling point in China.

It’s true that many of us didn’t understand why air filters were intensely focused on at the Model X unveiling.

But for those in China who are concerned about air pollution, and are also wealthy enough to spend $100,000 or so on an SUV, could be delighted in unique feature.

“According to a recent study conducted by the University of California at Berkeley, 1.6 million people a year or roughly 4,400 people a day die in China from air-pollution-related illnesses.

Wealthy Chinese are becoming increasingly wary of the country’s heavily polluted land, water, and air, and they’re willing to spend to avoid it — by importing food and spending extended periods of time abroad.”

Model X "Bio" Hazard Button - A Real Thing

Model X “Bio” Hazard Button – A Real Thing

Tesla Model X will go on sale in China in 2016 and then we will see whether the claim of air as clean as a hospital operating room will shoot sales through the roof or not.

Tesla CEO Points Out What Happens (At Minimum) To Life Expectancy In Selected Cities In The World

At Model X Reveal, Elon Musk Points Out What Happens (At Minimum) To Life Expectancy In Selected Cities Around The World Due To Air Quality – Note 22 Month Life Reduction In Beijing

Source: chinaautoreview.com

Categories: Tesla


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57 Comments on "Tesla Model X To Conquer Chinese Market With Bioweapon Defense Mode"

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I’ve been to China and the air is noticeably dirty. It’s unfortunate that so many people are getting sick from it but it’s actually a good thing in the long run. China is suffering from pollution gone crazy and they are working like crazy to fix it. Ultimately it may be China that pulls the rest of the world forward on climate initiatives. Some recent news stories would bear that out.


China wrote a book. Here’s the title: “How to Poison & Pollute your own Country and Citizens in the Pursuit of Profit”

Truth. They’re still doing it. I suspect, though, that they are changing their thinking on the issue of poisoning themselves.


“For years China argued that it was too poor and underdeveloped to even consider accepting any obligations to curb its greenhouse gases. Now we’re witnessing the world’s largest emitter playing by the UN’s rules and promising even deeper cuts.”

Unfortunately, over the last decade, Canada has been a co-writer of this book.
Hopefully we can work on a new book soon.

If it will really help sales that much, then Tesla should modify the Model S to offer that as an option.

But while I have no doubt the Model X’s air filters can improve air quality, experts say that the claim it can filter viruses and other very tiny particles out of the air is, sadly, mostly just hype. Ditto for the claim that it will protect you from a bioweapon attack. And I don’t think that sort of B.S. helps Tesla’s reputation at all.


“Bioweapons” Mode is merely amusing hyperbole like “Insane” and “Ludicrous” modes.

Yeah, that was funny.

But Elon claiming, seriously, that the Model X’s air filter system “gives you hospital level air quality” is one of those things which causes people capable of critical thinking to doubt everything the man says. It’s obvious B.S.

And how do you think Hospitals create operating room quality air?


Agreed the air is filtered just like microprocessor clean rooms.

I actually could see this as big selling point for Teala. Well done. Long a similar note I have wrote letters to US major airlines asked them to put better airfiltration in their A320’s and 737’s. I can’t stand sitting there for 3 hrs hearing people coughing and wheezing then have to breath that poorly filtered circulating air.

Anon asked:

“And how do you think Hospitals create operating room quality air?”

*sigh* Apparently the fallacy in Musk’s claim isn’t as obvious to everyone else as it is to me.

The problem isn’t with the quality of the air coming directly out of the filter into the car. The problem is that a car is very, very far from being airtight! A car has dozens — hundreds? — of cracks, seams, and holes, large and small, through which air leaks in from the outside.

Creating overpressure is a wonderful way to keep out contamination in a sealed chamber inside a hospital or laboratory environment, yes. But those chambers don’t have walls full of cracks and holes; they don’t have four huge (compared to the size of the room) doors which are not airtight; and most importantly, the chamber is not on wheels being pushed down the road at 35+ miles per hour!

Seriously, am I the only person who realized that a slight overpressure from the ventilation system would be utterly overcome by the pressure of non-filtered air coming in thru various small openings in the front of the car, when it’s traveling at any appreciable speed?

I hope not!

i’m not so sure that i agree with your viewpoint. a car is not like a house, so i would expect that there would be many air changes per hour in a car, so even if there are leakages, the air is probably going to be much better than is the ambient air.

that said, my skepticism is that this announcement seems like yet another elon musk publicity stunt – when there is not much of substance to report, make some out-of-the-blue statement to get attention.

Having installed equipment in clean rooms, I can tell you that they really could do this in a car, but we wiped everything with alcohol, and had a air shower when going in. When loading up you can’t do it, but …

If you entered and sealed the doors, then hit the bio hazard, it could protect you. You of course need to wipe the outside before exiting so you are stuck. Still if you were a diplomat or businessman that thought he was targeted, you could have your team wipe the car before you exited.

Of course it is puffery. I don’t understand why people take some of Tesla’s claims so seriously. Bioweapons mode . . . what do people think will happen when you open up the door? It’s just a nice air filter system.

+1 (with a lot of zeroes 🙂

I hope we won’t see tests of the bioweapon defense mode like with the insane and ludicrous mode though.

Imagine test animals inside and all kind of airborn diseases and pollutants let out on the outside…

oh lensman

The article actually doesn’t disprove that the X’s bioweapon mode wouldn’t be effective against actual bioweapons. I’m not saying that it works, but you are not reading the article critically if you think that it disproved anything.

The experts in the article merely say that some bioweapon agents wouldn’t be caught by the air filter. But as they point out later, the point of bioweapon mode is that it pressurizes the cabin so that air won’t even go through the filter.

And where do you think the air will come from that the car is using to provide positive overpressure? Perhaps you think the Model X has a magic portal which will provide a source of air sucked in from some alternate universe which is free of bacteria or viruses?

No mass produced car, including the Model X, is absolutely airtight. Therefore, to supply constant overpressure inside the cabin, the ventilation system will have to resupply the air by constantly sucking more in from outside.

If it really was possible to hermetically seal the Model X’s cabin, then anyone inside would pass out due to oxygen starvation, probably within a couple of hours or so, or less if there is more than one person inside.

Sadly, critical thinking seems to be in short supply here.

I can see how you interpreted my comment to mean I think that the car is airtight, but that wasn’t really my intention. I meant that I assume that the pressurization means “certain air particles” won’t even go through the filter. And of course, this is just my interpretation since the details on the system are sparse, but none of the experts addressed how this affects the filter.

But that is beside my point, which is that I think it is silly to think that the Gizmodo article is some sort of scientific debunking of this feature when it’s “experts” only consider one part of the system, the size of the holes in the filter.

And once again, I am not saying I believe it actually works against bioweapons. I have no idea, but am open to actual scientific testing that proves if it works or not. This article is far from that.

And another question here is, what would it take to make something bioweapon proof. It doesn’t seem like it would require more than the appropriate filter and protection from any bad air particles entering anywhere but though the filter (which i guess can be accomplished with the pressurization). How hard could that really be to produce? And why would it seem unbelievable for a car to have it?

*sigh* again. Apparently I jumped to an incorrect conclusion about someone other than myself (and Speculawyer) exercising critical thinking today. 1. Proper protection against a bioweapon requires preventing any outside, unfiltered air from coming in. This is entirely possible by using overpressure in a chamber or room inside a building; we know it’s possible through long, successful experience. But to think you can do that in a mass produced car, which has dozens or, more probably, hundreds of holes, cracks and seams, none of which are airtight, between outside air and the passenger cabin, is silly. It becomes downright ridiculous when you consider that the air pressure on cracks, seams and holes at the front of the passenger cabin, pressure caused by pushing the car down the road at a good speed, will easily overcome a slight overpressure. 2. I’d bet that the maximum overpressure which can be provided by the Model X’s ventilation system is significantly lower (in terms of PSI) than the overpressure system in a “clean room”. Automobile ventilation systems simply aren’t designed to put out that kind of air pressure. 3. As the Jalopnik article points out, you’d need to actually be warned about a bioweapon… Read more »

i can believe that the filters substantially improve air quality, but i guess the issue is that some here appear to be gullible enough to believe that these filters actually provide protection against a bioweapon attack…as though the model x was like the U.S. presidential limousine.

Obviously, you know so much about the Tesla Model X penetrations and seal systems, so you must be the expert on this. No way they could have built the Model X and the HVAC to provide sufficient air flow to generate positive air pressure.

Further, never mind about the 3 layers of activated carbon filtration on top of the HEPA filtration. Just like most of the so called journalists that have written about this, no way they these filters could do anything to help the situation.

We bow to your knowledge and common sense.

Actually I’ve been in military vehicles that are certified against NBC contamination. The US (and Chinese and Soviet) have a long history of training for operations in contaminated spaces.

Good sealing and high overpressure isn’t just for buildings. Of course you don’t open the door unless you are wearing protective gear. Luckily most bio weapons aren’t very persistent when exposed to air, light.

These are connected all the time like the Model S before it, perhaps in a future update the emergency alert system or Tesla Network Operations Control could either activate the system or flash the button on the screen and beep over the speakers so now you are informed and can push the button in time.

Fiat Driver said:

“I think it is silly to think that the Gizmodo article is some sort of scientific debunking of this feature when it’s ‘experts’ only consider one part of the system, the size of the holes in the filter.”

Aha! Thank you! Nice to see I am not the only one posting to InsideEVs today who is capable of critical thinking.

Honestly, I thought the point you just made was so self-evident it didn’t need to be pointed out.

But no, the reason I posted that link to the Jalopnik article was to show that even if you consider only the filtration system in isolation, as if it was in a laboratory “clean room” instead of installed in a mass produced car, Musk’s claim about filtering out viruses still amounts to B.S.

Ok, when can Tesla even start shipping the X to China in numbers?

Early 2017?

I highly doubt it will be before that.

Major car makers can/will copy the features as needed.

Tesla’s problem (not the only one, but a major problem area) is simply EXECUTION.

Meanwhile, the CEO is making new lofty promises…

“Tesla plans battery plant in India: Elon Musk”


So why did they plan the largest battery plant (according to Tesla, planned output at 35/50 GWh a year on cell/pack level) in the world and then CUT down the building space by around 75-80%?

Will the GF in Nevada ever reach the full size by 2020 as planned?

Why plan for additional GFs when even the first one isn’t ready / scaled back?

The thing is Musk always delivered what he promised, and is the only one to have put on the market +200 miles range cars.

The GigaFactory1 is not a small execution according to you?!?

tftf assumed facts not in evidence:

“So why did they plan the largest battery plant (according to Tesla, planned output at 35/50 GWh a year on cell/pack level) in the world and then CUT down the building space by around 75-80%?”

Do you honestly not understand that Gigafactory 1 is to be built out in stages, with production starting in the first stage as other parts of the plant are being built out?

Or is this just another Tesla-bashing troll post?

” Do you honestly not understand that Gigafactory 1 is to be built out in stages, with production starting in the first stage as other parts of the plant are being built out?”

Only that Tesla is missing the money and that each stage takes 1-2 years:

I will believe in this 2020 output numbers when I see additional buildings going up.

That however requires…

1) Panasonic chipping in another $1.5-2 billion (note that Tesla stopped talking about “additional partners” recently, where are they?) and

2) Tesla will also need to add another $1.5-2 billion (which clearly they don’t have in cash, see their balance sheet, the money raised in Feb 2014 is already gone).

Anyway, the OT comment on the factories was just an example about Tesla talking up items they can’t deliver (or they deliver years late). Same for Model X production / exports into China…

I guess you missed the numerous reports about Gigafactory 1 construction being ahead of schedule.

Tesla has proven it is capable of raising the money it needs for growth, and to do so with almost ridiculous ease. Plus, while I do agree it is a concern that Panasonic is foot-dragging on making the financial commitment necessary to finish building Gigafactory 1, it appears (at least to me) that it is becoming less of a concern as time goes on. Perhaps Panasonic took notice of the instant demand for Tesla’s PowerPacks? That’s a market with significantly faster growth potential than the EV market!

If, despite everything, Panasonic decides not to fully commit, then Tesla has other options for battery cell manufacturing partnerships… like Samsung or LG Chem.


Musk was asked question about “What about production in China?”
Musk replied that they want to have Chinese production of Model 3 to lower the price.
Musk was asked “What about India?”
Musk replied that a Gigafactory would make sense in India if there were local demand.

The reason it makes sense is because they want the Gigafactory to be powered by renewable energy, especially solar. And India has absolutely massive solar potential.

And the use of renewables isn’t a grandiose plan, it’s taking advantage of the low cost of solar power. Solar keeps falling in price, but has the problem of being variable and non-dispatchable. Variability can be reduced by putting your factory in a region with reliable sunshine (say Nevada, or parts of India), and you can make any non-dispatchable source dispatchable if you have access to a lot of batteries. (say, by being a battery manufacturing plant).

tftf said:

“Major car makers can/will copy the features [from Tesla] as needed.”

Tesla bashers have been saying that since 2008, at least. You should have noticed by now than none of the other auto makers are actually doing so.

Eastman Kodak could have copied the features of digital cameras from other companies, during the digital camera revolution. But they didn’t even try until it was too late to catch up, and not because they couldn’t. They didn’t because they didn’t want to make cameras which would compete with their own core products: film and film cameras. Kodak went bankrupt in 2012.

And that’s why no legacy auto maker is copying what Tesla is doing, nor will they even try until they realize they’re losing the entire market to plug-in EVs. Will it then be too late for them to change and survive? History pretty clearly shows that at least some of them will go bankrupt. The only question is which ones, and how soon.

It would have been inflammatory to authorities for him to have come out and called it “Under the Dome Mode” (the name of a documentary by a Chinese journalist describing her country’s air pollution that you are now required to pull up on youtube at your earliest possible convenience). Elon Musk and Tesla aren’t dumb. If you notice something strange in their plans there’s a reason for it.

Again, they can’t even build the X after two years of delays. This car won’t reach China in large numbers until early 2017…

If they are so serious, they should offer this option on the S today.

A large chunk of the delays of the X are due to the success of the S. Cash was no more a problem as the assembly line ran at maximum.

Beginning to think that serial Tesla/Musk hater is another short=seller of Tesla stock. Like the other ones he only trolls the Tesla posts.

tftf a short-selling Tesla basher? Perhaps so. It has become harder and harder to view his Tesla-bashing posts, especially several of his recent ones, as anything a reasonable person could actually think.

Of course “Tales from the future”, which I assume tftf is short for, is a well known short seller of Tesla. That doesn’t mean he’s wrong, although I hope he is.

I think describing the air in Beijing as a “bioweapon” is pretty accurate though….

If ya ever followed a duelly diesel pickup in Dallas, you’d appreciate Tesla’s X filter.

It would be nice at the Tonto Basin Post office for that same reason.

I do… every day. My trigger finger is quick for the recirc button!

your using your trigger finger on the wrong device :]

My family and I have to drive through a certain part of Garland regularly that we call “Stink Central” due to the masses of old smoke spewing cars in the region. It is a low income part of town where they just can’t afford to keep the cars in good shape. Anyway one of the things that really hacks me off about our FFE is it never remembers that I had recirculation on last time the car was on. I want it left on. It also decides for you when it thinks it should be turned off and will automatically turn itself off after a certain time. Grrrr

Now they need to add hardening against an EMP and they’d sell like hot cakes in Arizona.


China is turning into that dreary Blade Runner movie world where the rich people move away or live in secluded areas while the poor suffer the pollution.

Here is a report on the effects of CO2 and human cognition http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/10/26/3714853/carbon-dioxide-impair-brain/
This filter may be ahead of its time for polluted areas. I didn’t take it too serious the first time I saw it.

I bet it would add to sales to add a CO2 ppm monitor in the vehicle. Have one in my house and I don’t like it when it nears 1000 ppm.

While a superior air filtration system will certainly help filter out carcinogen-laced diesel and gasoline soot particles, it won’t help any at all against the noxious gasses emitted by car exhaust systems and pollution-spewing coal-fired power plants.

Filters won’t filter out, for example, the large amounts of carbon monoxide and sulfur compounds found in diesel exhaust.

You need to re-watch Elon’s presentation again. They’ve added reactants to the filters to SPECIFICALLY neutralize Sulfur Compounds. 😀

Ah, I had forgotten that. Thanks for the correction.

(I suppose it would be terribly unfair of me to ask just what percentage of sulfur compounds would be absorbed or neutralized, and for how long before the filter needs to be replaced… Excuse my skepticism.)

While you can’t filter out gasses economically, you can decompose the reactive ones. That’s what a catalytic converter does. Other gasses you might be able to absorb for a while. That does depend on the gas: You’ll never get rid of carbon dioxide.

I think Elon is germophobic

I think you see things too simplistically. Elon is not another Howard Hughes.

The fact is, as long as I know, BYD has been using this technology called “Insta-pure” to purify Chinese dirty air filled with PM. I heard other car makers in China also adopted similar features to their cars after BYD’s success. Maybe that’s why BYD has risen to the largest xEV seller in the world recently. Though I think Tesla’s Bioweapon defense mode is very smart and also cool, the real credit has to be given to BYD… But either by BYD or Tesla, such idea or at least will to marketize the idea is something rarely seen from old ICE car makers. Kudos to both of them.