Tesla already offers animal-free synthetic leather for its interiors as standard, but its steering wheels are a different matter. Leather-free steering wheels have to be ordered as an extra – except for Model Y and Model 3 which by 2020 will have the non-leather steering wheel as standard thereby making them an entirely vegan car.
As reported by Electrek, a lot of vegan customers did not know about this option and therefore drove their cars with a leather steering wheel.
It appears that Tesla has a vegan design for a non-heated synthetic leather steering wheel. However the heated wheels are more difficult to make vegan owing to the various things that us drivers get on our hands all the time.
Totally vegan cars?
A PETA representative has been keeping Tesla on its toes with regard to the company’s vegan credentials. PETA questioned the Company as to whether or not it could be certain that all of its products would be free of animal products by next year’s shareholders meeting. Elon Musk, CEO, replied:
“Uh I’m not, there might be the tiniest bit left, I’m not sure, but Model Y, Model 3, I think I’m confident about that. We have a lot of things to solve but I think for sure the Model Y and the Model 3 soon and you can also special order for the S and X.”
According to Elecktrek it is unclear where the company’s new patented internal fabric stands in this debate since it is wool based, and wool is a no go area as it is an animal by product. Perhaps Tesla thinks this does not count.
There is a strong overlap between the issues of veganism and electric cars. Both significantly help the environment. Animal agriculture does produce more emissions than cars because there are so many more people to be fed than there are cars. Interestingly this may not be the case in the USA where there are almost as many cars as there are people.