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.
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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:
Model 3 interior is now 100% leather-free 🐄 pic.twitter.com/2F47zp8A4TAugust 31, 2019
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.