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Tesla releases a fully vegan Model 3, to the delight of animal-lovers

Tesla Model 3
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
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Despite all of its green credentials, the Tesla Model 3 fell down in one area: a leather steering wheel. But not any more. Following pressure from customers and animal rights groups such as PETA, Tesla has decided to make the Model 3 completely vegan, offering a leather-free steering wheel to match the existing 'Tesla Synthetic Material' used in the seating.

The option is not a completely new one; the Model S and Model X have been available with vegan-friendly steering wheels for a little while now. At the company's annual shareholder meeting in June, Elon Musk announced that the interior of the Model 3 would be completely vegan by 2020.

Don't have a cow

At the time he said: "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."

A few days ago, the company said that it had managed to reach this goal earlier and shared the news on its Twitter feed:

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It is not only possible to buy a new Tesla Model 3 with a non-leather steering wheel; the company is also offering retrofits which are reported to cost $550 plus $50 labour. Next year's Model Y will also be a fully vegan vehicle.

PETA had already welcomed Tesla's embracing of non-leather materials, praising the company for turning to cruelty-free, sustainable alternatives.

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.