The rivalry between BMW and Mercedes is as old as the hills, but both are facing a relatively new competitor. Tesla has taken the EV scene by storm, managing to deliver 936,172 cars in 2021. To show it’s playing in the big leagues now, Elon Musk and co. decided to use a BMW X3 in a new video featuring the Model Y and its HEPA filter.
It would’ve been more accurate to get an iX3 rather than the gasoline version. However, with BMW deciding not to bring the electric crossover to the US, Tesla used what it had. Of course, it cleverly hid the badges on the grille and steering wheel to avoid legal issues. Even so, it’s pretty obvious what we’re dealing with here.
As you can see, the EVs were put inside a capsule to test the differences between the X3’s standard air filter and the Model Y’s HEPA filter. Three smoke grenades were deployed after the man inside the Tesla activated the grandiosely named Bioweapon Defense Mode. Doing so essentially recirculates the air through the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that hospitals use.
Does The HEPA Filter Really Work?
The feature was originally launched in 2015 for the more expensive Model S and Model X before trickling down to the smaller Model Y last year. The Model 3 sedan doesn’t have it due to packaging constraints as there’s not enough room to squeeze it in.
Tesla touts the HEPA filter is 100 times more effective compared to what luxury legacy automakers use in their vehicles. There are no visible signs of fumes in the Model Y, which we can’t say about the BMW X3’s cabin. You can see the sheer size of the filters and how useful they were following the “attack” with smoke grenades. The Bioweapon Defense Mode in correlation with the HEPA filter kept the cabin nice and clean.
Aside from Tesla, Mercedes is now using HEPA filters in the new EQE and EQS electric sedans. As for BMW, a nanoparticle filter is available for the 5 Series and up to clean the air inside. It will be interesting to see whether the next 7 Series debuting soon will bring improvements in terms of air quality.
[Source: Tesla / YouTube]