It all started with a question at the Tesla shareholder meeting last June. Stephanie Downs, a representative from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and a Tesla shareholder, wanted to know why she could not get a vegan Model S. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would look into it and worked with PETA to find the right solution.
In the meantime, others have asked the company for a cruelty-free electric vehicle, including Jackass star Steve-O, who reached out to Autoblog Green on Twitter to get info on an animal-free Tesla EV. Finally, The New York Times reports, Tesla will now offer an official vegan option for the Model X.
A Model X can now be ordered with synthetic leather in Ultra White. While fake leather has been available in other vehicles for a long time, such as Mercedes-Benz’s well-known “MB-Tex” vinyl seat material, it shows that Tesla is willing to listen to its fans, who have been complaining about the lack of animal-free cars for years.
For the Model S, Tesla offers a black cloth option for people who didn’t want leather seats, along with synthetic leather on the steering wheel. To get that vegan Model S, though, you still have to contact Tesla directly. It’s basically an unlisted special option, different from the new Model X offering.
According to an AP report from last fall, the average leather automobile interior uses between two and three hides, but some high-end luxury vehicles can find ways to use up to nine of them.