Tesla posted a video to its YouTube channel that shows Tesla engineers working on designing ventilators out of mainly Tesla Model 3 parts. It's pretty amazing to see how many existing Tesla parts can be repurposed into assembling a ventilator.
It wasn't too long ago when Elon Musk was skeptical about whether there was even going to be a need for more ventilators. However, that's changed, and Musk evidently realizes the medical community wasn't overreacting in February when they were warning us that this was going to get very bad.
Tesla now has a team of engineers working on designing respirators out of mostly existing Tesla parts. In doing so, they aren't taking the scarce parts needed to assemble respirators from the other companies that are trying to build as many as possible, and as quickly as possible. It's a brilliant plan, but only if it works.
Hospitals are severely under-supplied with enough ventilators to deal with the crush of COVID-19 patients that need them. New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently said the state will soon be in need of 30,000 additional respirators for the peak patient curve that the state is expected to see.
New York did get some good news recently, though. Thanks to a donation from billionaires Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai, the Chinese government sent the state 1,000 ventilators, and the state of Oregan also sent 140 of the breathing machines.
Still, that's not nearly enough for what the Governor expects they will need.
We don't know exactly how close Tesla is to actually getting the devices approved for use and then built. Still, it's great to see such an amazing can-do spirit, and Tesla unleashing the power of their engineers to tackle an urgent need that will save lives.
Tesla has already secured over 1,200 ventilators from China and donated them to hospitals in California about two weeks ago. As we reported when this happened, we don't know for sure if Tesla, SpaceX or Elon himself paid for the ventilators.
It will be interesting to see whether Tesla can design, get approvals (which will be streamlined during the crisis) and build ventilators faster than GM and Ford can, since both of those companies are going to be building devices that are already in service.
Tesla's designing a ventilator from scratch, and they're building it from the automotive parts bin. Then again, it's really tough to bet against Elon.
Hopefully, all three companies will succeed in their quest and deliver these much-needed life-saving medical devices soon, because every day counts.