Animal activists rejoice: the interior of the Tesla Model 3 is now 100 percent skin-free.
On Saturday, Tesla announced that Model 3 is now completely free of leather, including the steering wheel. The company has also promised that the upcoming Model Y will also be completely vegan when it debuts in 2020.
Animal rights groups have urged the car manufacturer to dispose of their cars from animal material for many years. PETA representatives raised the issue at the company's recent shareholders meeting, prompting Tesla CEO Elon Musk to promise to comply. But making a leather-free steering wheel seemed to be a sticking point ̵
"I think we were close to having a non-heated steering wheel, it's not leather," Musk said at the shareholders meeting, according to TechCrunch (who first reported this). "There are some challenges when [you] warms the non-leather material, and also how well it wears over time."
PETA has worked with Tesla for many years producing synthetic leather. It has also led campaigns to encourage global carmakers such as General Motors, Volkswagen and Toyota to also ditch animal products in their cars. "By ditching leather, including in the car seats, Tesla saves countless cows on the cruelty inherent in the leather industry and stays true to its focus on sustainability," PETA said in June last year.
This is not Tesla's first "totally vegan" car. The company has always offered clothing interiors for customers who do not want to use leather, and PETA has stated that it is particularly interested in the more premium alternative with fake leather.