Here’s How Tesla Is Making Ventilators Out of Available Car Parts

At the end of last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk went from calling the new Coronavirus panic “dumb” to offering to help whichever way possible. He started off by donating PPEs available at now-shuttered Tesla facilities and moved on to promise to start building ventilators.
A first look at the Tesla ventilator, using mostly Model 3 parts 10 photos
Photo: YouTube / Tesla
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Last week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Tesla had donated “hundreds” of ventilators to New York hospitals overwhelmed by the spike in number of new Coronavirus infections. Musk said the FDA-approved machines were either Tesla’s or had been ordered specifically for the purpose of having them donated.

Reports then claimed that these ventilators weren’t exactly what was needed to help out patients experiencing respiratory failure, and that Musk was riding the Coronavirus wave for extra publicity. They were BiPAP (bi-level positive airway pressure) machines, which supply pressurized air into the airways to help maintain a consistent breathing pattern. BiPAP machines are used in cases of sleep apnea or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but are less than effective in the ICU.

Tesla (and Musk) ignored the negative buzz and continued with the plan. With the first donation of ventilators, Musk said he was looking forward to re-opening the New York Gigafactory to start building ventilators there. The video at the bottom of the page could have been filmed there.

It’s a walkthrough video of the process underway to build a Tesla ventilator, using mostly available car parts: this time, a medical-grade machine. It uses the Model 3 infotainment system and the Model 3 computer, a suspension air tank in lieu of an oxygen mixing chamber, and the Model 3 touchscreen as controller.

For all the details included in the video, the Tesla engineers working on the machine don’t say anything about a possible completion date or when these ventilators will be shipped to hospitals. But by the looks of things, they’re pretty far ahead already.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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