Tesla’s EV plants are shuttered due to the coronavirus, but like other automakers, it’s retooling its operations to build ventilators.
Now, the company has released a YouTube video showing a prototype built with EV parts including the Model 3’s display and infotainment system, as spotted by TechCrunch.
Hospital-grade oxygen goes into Tesla’s mixing chamber (a car part used in Tesla’s vehicles). It’s subsequently pumped through Tesla’s custom designed manifold, which is powered by vehicle computers and controlled by the infotainment system. All the patient parameters are then displayed on the Model 3’s main display.
First Medtronic units from Tesla getting installed in NY metro area. These are for worst case situations. pic.twitter.com/xyFRZwv1M7— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 4, 2020
Tesla, along with Ford and GM, have promised to donate or build ventilators, and CEO Elon Musk said recently that the New York factory could reopen soon to produce ventilators. The company recently donated 1,000 ventilators, though critics said that the non-invasive models were the wrong kind. That’s because critical COVID-19 patients need invasive ventilators that can inflate a patient’s lungs with air via intubation.
However, New York governor Andrew Cuomo said that the so-called BiPAP non-invasive ventilators could be converted into the right type to help offset the “burn rate” of critical invasive ventilators. Elon Musk subsequently tweeted that “all hospitals were given exact specifications of [the donated models] & all confirmed they would be critical.” He added that Tesla has now started delivering critical intratracheal ventilators from Medtronic for “worst case situations.”