Elon Musk has previously touted the ‚ÄúBioweapon Defense Mode‚ÄĚ boasted by Tesla‚Äôs vehicles, which are designed to provide excellent air quality inside the car even in the face of disastrous conditions without, thanks in part to high-efficiency HEPA air filtration. Now, Musk has said on Twitter that he hopes to one day provide similar air filtration along with home HVAC systems.
Tesla, while primarily an automaker, is also already in the business of home energy and power generation, thanks to its acquisition of SolarCity, its current production of solar roofing products and its business building Tesla batteries for storage of power generated from green sources at home. While it hasn‚Äôt yet seemed to make any moves to enter into any other parts of home building or infrastructure, HVAC systems actually would be a logical extension of its business, since they represent a significant part of the overall energy consumption of a home, depending on its heating and cooling sources.
Boosting home HVAC efficiency would have the added benefit of making Tesla‚Äôs other home energy products more appealing to consumers, since it would presumably help make it easier to achieve true off-grid (or near off-grid) self-sufficiency.
As for the company‚Äôs HEPA filtration, despite the jokey name, Tesla actually takes Bioweapon Defense Mode very seriously. In a blog post in 2016, it detailed what went into the system‚Äôs design, along with testing data to back up its claims of a HEPA filter that‚Äôs ‚Äúten times more efficient than standard automotive filters.‚ÄĚ While Tesla doesn‚Äôt cited wildfires in that post, it does list ‚ÄúCalifornia freeways during rush hour, smelly marshes, cow pastures in the Central Valley of California, and major cities in China‚ÄĚ in terms of challenges it wanted it to be able to handle.
Many experts are predicting that the wildfires we‚Äôre currently seeing devastating large portions of the west coast of the U.S. will only get worse as environmental conditions continue to suffer the impact of climate change. Given that, and given Tesla‚Äôs larger business goals of offering a range of products that neutralize or reduce the ecological impact of its customers, more efficient and effective home HVAC products don‚Äôt seem that far outside its operational expertise.