Coronavirus: Tesla shows off prototype ventilators made from car parts

Rob Waugh
The ventilators use Tesla car parts (Tesla/YouTube)

Tesla has shown off prototype ventilators made from car components, which it hopes can boost supplies of the machines for hospitals

The machines, shown off by Tesla engineers in a video, include repurposed parts from Tesla Model 3. 

The entrepreneur previously said on Twitter that his company “will make ventilators if there is a shortage”.

He has said that he has repurposed a Tesla factory to produce the much-needed breathing aids.

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“Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly,” he tweeted last month. 

Car companies often store large numbers of car parts, so Tesla’s ventilator uses a Model 3 vehicle computer to control an air flow manifold, and is controlled by a Model 3 touchscreen. 

Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering said, “We’re trying to make some ventilators out of some car parts, so that we can help out the medical industry without taking away from their supply.”

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Joe Mardall, Tesla’s engineering director, said “We’re working on developing our own ventilator design, specifically one that’s heavily based on Tesla car parts.”

“We want to use parts that we know really well, we know the reliability of, and we can go really fast and they’re available in volume.”

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The video showed off a prototype ventilator’s parts laid out, with an engineer demonstrating how it would work. 

Tesla has not yet confirmed a timeline for when the machines will be available. 

Elon Musk previously donated more than 1,000 ventilators to hospitals in Los Angeles, California to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The billionaire CEO of Tesla (TSLA) said in a tweet that he helped acquire 1,255 of the life-saving machines from China last week and arranged them to flown to Los Angeles.

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