There’s a vegan alternative for most things in 2019; and now Tesla is going all-in on an animal product-free lifestyle by making its Model 3 completely vegan.
Much to the delight of animal activists, who’ve been pursuing Tesla on this for a while, the company’s most affordable car is 100% leather free. Tesla has long provided synthetic seats for its fleet of electric vehicles, but now the entire interior of the Model 3 is cow hide-free.
That follows a similar move with the Model S and Model X cars, which also have steering wheels free from material that once belonged to a living creature. Next year’s Model Y release will be completely vegan too.
Elon Musk had promised switch to a synthetic steering wheel during the company’s annual shareholder meeting earlier this summer, and Tesla has now followed through on the pledge, boosting its eco-friendly credentials beyond ending the reliance on traditional gasoline (via TechCrunch).
Musk had told shareholders back in June: “I believe we were close to having a non-heated steering wheel, that’s not leather. There are some challenges when we heat the non-leather material and also how well it wears over time.”
If you have a Model 3 model with a leather steering wheel, you can also go vegan, but your principles will cost you. It’s a whopping $550 for a refit plus an additional $50 in labour.
In a statement welcoming the switch to a vegan steering wheel, activist group PETA said: “Tesla CEO Elon Musk is well aware that the leather industry is as toxic to the Earth as it is deadly to sensitive cows, who would rather live than be butchered for their skin.”
“Eco-conscious consumers know that raising cows for leather requires huge quantities of feed, land, water, and fossil fuels and that cattle emit massive amounts of methane—one of the most potent greenhouse gases—into our atmosphere.”