On April 5, Tesla engineering provided an update on the company's own ventilator, which is "heavily based on Tesla auto parts", according to engineering director Joseph Mardall. She also said that Tesla is talking about making only one part of the ventilator, not the entire device.
Among them are a mixing chamber and an infotainment system sourced from the Model 3. Beyond boosting manufacturing capacity, the companies are leveraging parts-fans from the Ford F-150's cooled seats, 3M HEPA air filters, portable tool battery packs-to develop a new respirator design. Engineers are also familiar with these parts, so the learning curve is less steep. That's General Motors, that's Ford, that's Elon Musk. General Motors is working with Ventec Life Systems to build ventilators at an IN factory.
The automaker didn't offer a timeline for when it expects to have an FDA-approved production-ready version of the device or where it will be built, but Elon Musk had previously suggested it could possibly manufacture ventilators at Tesla's idled solar-panel factory in Buffalo, while the Model 3 is manufactured at its Fremont, Calif., and Shanghai, China, facilities. That factory normally builds solar panels, while vehicle production takes place in Fremont, California.
Tesla is the latest automaker to have shown its ventilator to help fight the dreaded coronavirus. The United States has the most number of cases at above 300,000. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo subsequently confirmed plans to use BiPAP machines as a substitute due to lack of conventional ventilators. This will give hospital employees 20-40 minutes to move a patient while still keeping them hooked up to the ventilator. He was criticized for potentially sending bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines rather than the invasive machines typically used to treat coronavirus patients with breathing issues.