On April 5, Tesla engineering provided an update on the company’s own ventilator, which is “heavily based on Tesla car parts,” according to engineering director Joseph Mardall. A four-minute-long video was posted to YouTube revealing a prototype ventilator powered by many of the same components used in the Tesla Model 3.
According to the video on Tesla’s YouTube channel, the design includes a touch screen, computer and control system from a Model 3 electric car. Tesla is taking advantage of components that are familiar, reliable and available, an engineer says in the video.
“There’s still a lot of work to do,” said one of the engineers, “but we’re giving it our best effort.”
Tesla is among a group of automakers retooling facilities to build ventilators for the COVID-19 crisis. In the following video, the company provides a behind-the-scene look at its ventilator design process.
Tesla’s Chinese team and Musk managed to secure a surplus of 1,000 ventilators from China and delivered them to hospitals in California earlier this month.
Last week, the CEO also said that Tesla is planning to quickly reopen Gigafactory New York to make Tesla Ventilator machines for COVID-19 patients and it is also working with Medtronic to make ventilators at its Fremont factory.
Like Ford and General Motors, Tesla engineers are building Tesla Ventilator machines with parts for its vehicles. The reason is simple: car parts are available. Automotive companies obsessively stage parts for final assemble. Without doing so, having a shortage on, say, door handles can shut down a production line. In this thought, Tesla engineers say in this video they are trying to use as many car parts as possible.
On March 30, Ford Motor Co (F.N) said it would produce 50,000 ventilators in the following 100 days at a plant in Michigan in cooperation with General Electric’s (GE.N) healthcare unit, and could then build 30,000 per month as needed.
Governments globally have appealed to automakers and aerospace companies to help procure or make ventilators and other medical equipment amid the increasing number of coronavirus infections.