Join The Community

Interior Choices - non-leather/vegan

i find it more than a little disappointing that a co as advance as Tesla is so seriously limiting the the "non-animal based" interior choices for customers. i put down my deposit on a Model S a couple of months ago with the serious hope that by the time i can take delivery, Tesla will allow more cloth / similar synthetic interior options. and the fact that as a Southern Californian, I'm "forced" to accept a black/dark interior as the only non-animal choice, is rather amazing. the last "color" that makes sense for someone like me is black... how about grey, tan or what i really want is burgundy red cloth/synthetic leather with a Sliver exterior!

as much of a fan i am of Tesla, and am certainly rooting for the co on many fronts, if i can buy a BMW i series with a more "forward thinking" non-animal based interior, i will do so... assuming of course that Tesla does not make some changes here.

i hope others like me will make voice their concerns as well.


No company can afford to make an infinite number of options available. Those they do make available need to satisfy the largest share of customers. I assume you're aware that you're part of a vanishingly small minority who view it as a negative that their car upholstery is made from animal skin.

I'm not commenting one way or another about your views regarding animals, just pointing out that it doesn't seem to make a lot of business sense for Tesla to spend any resources doing what you are suggesting. If you peruse these forums you'll find lots of things being requested/demanded which make more sense to attend to first, from a purely business perspective.

this has come up a bunch of times, no changes or response from Telsa ever on it. I've mentioned it to sales people who only say if enough people demand it, Tesla will do it, but I don't think they took note of my request anywhere. The Signatures and Performance models require leather as well, so they lost those upgrades from me.

It is interesting that in Canada the textile interior includes heated seats, we can't even get that as an upgrade to pay for in the US!

Also - note that Fisker has some premium interior upgrades that are animal-free.

Maybe some of Tesla's upcoming 'options packages' will include a premium non-leather interior upgrade. I've already locked in my configuration but really would have liked as many options as they had on the Roadster

I too would like a cloth interior and black is my least favorite color. With cloth seats you don't need seat heaters (or coolers)and in an electric car where accessory power use can make a real range difference, I think cloth is a smart choice. It would be nice to have at least one light color to consider.

brett. I can appreciate your disappointment, however, TM has kept the choices in interior and exterior to minimum to simplify and expedite production. Perhaps in a couple of years they will offer a wider choice. Keep in mind they launched a new car, new factory, new production line, new work force… that’s quite a lot. You could have an auto upholster shop recover your seats in whatever color(s) you prefer. You might remember Henry Ford. When he launched the Model T he offered his customers a choice of any color they want…as long as it is black!

Comparing a 1 Series (from a long established, premier, manufacturer) to an “S” could be considered an insult by some forum readers.

P.S. Personally I would have preferred Saddle colored leather


Also - note that Fisker has some premium interior upgrades that are animal-free.

Not sure if Fisker is the business model Tesla wants to emulate. As a stockholder, it's certainly not what I want.

As has been pointed out in other threads, it's not reasonable to compare BMW or other established automakers to Tesla. BMW et al. can afford to make many more options available for very small segments of the market due to the sheer volume of production and number of models they sell. Tesla is a start up with exactly one model for sale at the moment. If it survives to adulthood it may very well cater to your wishes, but right now it's still learning to walk and dress itself. And this in an industry that is decidedly newbie-unfriendly.

I too would really like to have a decent color choice in non leather. One of the reasons i am waiting on buying is because of this.
in another thread i started, i mentioned that you can have really high end interior that is non leather.
I personally find leather objectionable on many fronts relating to comfort.
Leather is slippery, sticky in hot weather, cold and clammy in cold weather, smells bad and looks awful after a few months. I know because as a child we had a bentley with (the "best") leather available.
It also makes sense to cater for a growing (and wealthy) sector of the public that are vegans, or just want the choice.


It also makes sense to cater for a growing (and wealthy) sector of the public that are vegans, or just want the choice.

Possibly growing, but still not exactly large. [1 million US adults, according to - a source that probably overestimates the numbers if anything.]

Not sure what data you're basing the "wealthy" claim on.

Vegan diet is unnatural to humans and as such quite stupid. Human biology is hunter-gatherers biology, we need meat just as much as we need fruits and nuts.

That said, I also would like to see more non-leather options (especially heated seats) even that I'm quite a carnivore in my eating habits. You don't need to be vegan to like fabrics more than leather.

I am also not a fan of leather, but the textile seats currently offered is even less desirable to me. Why ? Because they are not textile, they are a blend of textile and faux leather :( And I like faux leather even less.

So what I would want is a 100% textile seat option, non-black (black interiors make me feel cramped and depressed). I am for example very happy with the grey seats in my Leaf. And make it an option for the performance model please. Maybe use the same type of alcantara that is used for the headliner ?

My position too.

I would have probably gone with a non-leather choice with this car if it had heated heats. I have leather in the car I own now and even tho it has held up fine I prefer the cooler cloth seats in the summer (not black).

I still don't expect Tesla to offer a wide variety this early on. They had to delay grey leather deliveries. This car was put together very quickly compared to any other company so they are not going to have a huge amount of choices.

If it was something that you really believe in differ. I think more options will be coming online in the next six months.

You are not alone. Here is a pretty extensive thread on the issue:

jkirkebo, is has been said that European options will differ from North American options, so there is a shimmer of hope that we might get a somewhat broader range of textile interior options. Keep your fingers crossed, it's only a matter of weeks (maybe days) now until we will learn what Tesla has for us!

as much of a fan i am of Tesla, and am certainly rooting for the co on many fronts, if i can buy a BMW i series with a more "forward thinking" non-animal based interior, i will do so... (brett.hawkinsjr)

The question how Tesla compares to the BMW i series or any electric efforts by established car makers for that matter has been pondered in this thread (just in case you're interested):

"glimmer" of hope. Shimmer is never used metaphorically like that. Too distracting a "picture"? ;)

Brian H, thanks. I had no shimmer of the difference. (That's how the word is used in German. BTW, in German "a spark of hope" is actually more common than "a shimmer".)

Glimmer is also used like "inkling" or even "hint".
He had a glimmer of what was about to happen.
He knew there was only a glimmer of success to justify all his effort.

Do you also avoid wool? After all, after being shaved, sheep are often peeled and eaten. ;)

I can see Brian has never been on a farm . . .

You must be thinking of peaches.

Or maybe DouglasR has never had lamb chops :)


Nope. Used to raise 'em. Sometimes ate the ones I fed from a bottle. It's just that you don't typically eat the ones you shear; they are ewes, and you keep them because they lamb. You shear them to keep them comfortable and for the wool (we used to have a guy come out and shear them in exchange for the wool). Lambs are typically born in the spring, after the ewes have been shorn, and taken to slaughter before they are a year old, so they don't often get "shaved," as Brian says. More than you ever wanted to know about sheep, I'll wager.


Thanks for the education. Until your post, everything I knew about sheep was from watching the movie "Babe". (And occasionally eating lamb chops.)

I knew almost all of that. I was just trying to liken sheep to plant life.

I even know there are special breeds with hair weakened next to the skin that can have the coat just pulled off, no cutting necessary! They were unable to develop a self-roasting variant, however. (;(


So there are no documented cases of "spontaneous sheep combustion"?

Sheep are shorn, right?

Glimmer is like a glint or flash.

Personally, I don't object to using dead animals for upholstery as much as I object to using live ones.

I went with leather because it was easy to keep clean, good looking and it looked great for decades in some of my cars. But, I'm sure that your own climate can impact that significantly.

I do have some concern about the Alcantara though. I noticed that there is some on the seating area of my car. I am concerned about how to protect it from soiling and wear. Anyone have any wisdom on the mighty Alcantaras?

Posted in another thread, but the screen went blank so I'll try again here as I am so frustrated with Tesla's lack of concern for their ethical customers!

I find it quite amazing that so many of the otherwise intelligent readers on this forum would be so ill-informed regarding the ethical, moral, and environmental implications of eating animals and, by extension, leather interiors.

I am a few days away from cancelling my Model S reservation, mostly due to Tesla's punishment for those of us wishing to take the "moral high road."

Here's the text of an email I sent in reply to Tesla advising me that one cannot have memory seats, etc., if one doesn't have the brains of several cows blown out:

Sadly, as a vegan I cannot accept being penalized by Tesla Motors (again) for choosing a reduced-cruelty interior. By way of background, I have purchased five (yes, that's "5") BMW 3 Series over the past 13 years because they were available WITHOUT a leather interior, among other reasons. BMW, for the most part, does not penalize customers for choosing the leatherETTE (their standard, non-leather interior) by limiting the buyer's other options. Tesla Motors, however, seems to insist on it.

Given the fact that you at Tesla are forging a new, fresh path, I find it amazing and depressing that Tesla chooses to "punish" customers that take the higher moral road.

May I please ask a favor of you? Please forward this email widely within Tesla.

Let me be frank--as a TSLA stock holder and an environmentalist, I want you to succeed. Tesla Motors is doing incredibly important work. In my case, given my family proclivity toward buying BMW's 3 Series, I'd love to retry with the Tesla Motors "Gen III" in a few years, hopefully to replace both of our 2011 BMW 335i's. BUT: I'd like the same seat memory (and interior trim choices, performance options, etc.) that those ignorant (or just plain cruel?) buyers do. (Just in case you aren't aware, Model S buyers that select the leather interior cause five or six cows to be murdered so that they can sit on their toxically treated skins. For details on how leather is "produced" I encourage you to visit Leather isn't a "by product"--it's a source of additional profit for those that murder sentient beings for money. For heaven's sake, you're in California--you should "get it." But I guess someone missed the memo on "How not to be cruel" and now you've lost a sale.)

You can do better; let's hope you can influence Tesla's decision makers to make this happen for the Gen III.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like additional information, but in the interim I'd like a refund of my $5k deposit sometime after March 8th. (That's my supposed deadline for locking in my Model S order at 2012 prices; there's a 1% chance I might change my mind and just go with the limited options forced by taking the moral high ground.)

Thank you.


Mark Peters

p.s. I haven't even touched on the massive global warming impact that cows produce, but surely your executives know this as well?

Nature would be SO much nicer if there were no carnivores. And nice is what Nature is trying to be, right?

@Mark Peters, I agree with your main points. I would love it if the Model S textile seats came with all the bells and whistles the leather ones do. If not standard, the option could be available at a reasonable cost.

While not a vegan I am a vegetarian and avid environmentalist and would much prefer a non-leather interior all else being equal. Unfortunately all else is not equal in Model S.

I originally configured with textile but later switched after much consternation because I felt the lumbar support (not available last year), seat memory, kangaroo pouch and option for non-glossy trim were very important features. I am still a bit uneasy about my decision to tell the truth.

Hopefully Tesla will provide in the future non-leather interiors with all bells and whistles that accompany their leather interiors on all their cars.

Ask for leather exclusively from vinyl cows.

As I posted in the other thread on this, if you are willing, or have to, pay the new pricing, the new textile seats have memory, are heated, have lumbar support, etc. It is only the original textile seats with the old pricing that are missing features.

X Deutschland Site Besuchen