Electric car company Tesla recently announced that its Model 3 and Model Y cars will become fully vegan next year. In 2017, the company eliminated all leather seat options from its vehicles and replaced them with all-vegan materials. However, the vehicles still come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. At a recent shareholders’ meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed to animal-rights charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that the company is working to remove leather from steering wheels so that the vehicles will be entirely vegan. According to Musk, Tesla has created a non-heated synthetic leather steering wheel, but it is still working on a heated version. Durability is a unique issue with steering wheels because of the various oils and other substances transferred from human hands to the steering wheel while driving. When PETA asked if any of Tesla’s products will be free of animal products by next year’s shareholder meeting, Musk replied: “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 [will be resolved] soon and you can also special order for the S and X.” In recent years, competing car companies such as Volvo, Audi, and Fisker, Inc. began producing vegan electric cars in an effort to meet growing demand for environmentally-conscious vehicles.
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