Elon Musk has previously praised the ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ boasted by Tesla’s automobiles, which are designed to offer excellent air quality inside the car even in the face of catastrophic conditions outside, partly thanks to high-efficiency HEPA air filtration. Now, on Twitter, Musk has said he hopes to have similar air filtration along with home HVAC systems one day.
Owing to its acquisition of SolarCity, its current development of solar roofing products, and its business building of Tesla batteries for the storage of power generated from green sources at home, Tesla, though primarily an automaker, is also already in the business of home energy and power generation. Although it has not yet appeared to be making any moves into any other areas of home construction or infrastructure, HVAC systems will potentially be a reasonable expansion of its business as they constitute a large part of a home’s total energy usage depending on its heating and cooling sources.
Boosting home HVAC performance would have the added advantage of making Tesla’s other home energy products more desirable to customers, as it would probably help make it easier to achieve true off-grid (or near-off-grid) self-sufficiency.
As for the company’s HEPA filtration, Tesla is taking ‘Bioweapon Defense Mode’ very seriously, despite the jokey term. In a blog post in 2016, it outlined what had gone into the design of the system, along with testing evidence to back up its claims of a HEPA filter that is “ten times more efficient than standard automotive filters.” While Tesla did not quote wildfires in that article, it does mention “California freeways during rush hour, smelly marshes, cow pastures in the Central Valley of California, and major cities in China.”
Many experts expect that the wildfires that we are currently seeing damaging significant parts of the U.S. west coast will only get worse as environmental conditions continue to suffer from climate change impacts. Given that and Tesla’s wider business objectives for providing a variety of products that neutralize or reduce its customers’ ecological effects, more reliable and effective home HVAC products don’t seem too far beyond its operational expertise.
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