Tesla is among a group of automakers retooling facilities to build ventilators for the COVID-19 crisis. In the following video, the company provides a behind-the-scene look at its ventilator design process.
Like Ford and General Motors, Tesla engineers are building its vent with parts for its vehicles. The reason is simple: car parts are available. Automotive companies obsessively stage parts for final assemble. Without doing so, having a shortage on, say, door handles can shut down a production line. In this thought, Tesla engineers say in this video they are trying to use as many car parts as possible.
For instance, Tesla’s ventilator uses the Model 3 infotainment system to power a Model 3 vehicle computer, which in turn, controls an air flow manifold. A suspension air tank is used as a oxygen mixing chamber. Among other parts, the team is also employing a Model 3 touchscreen as a controller.
Tesla is one of several American automakers that pledged support to either donate supplies or offer resources to make more ventilators. Ford is working with GE to expand ventilator production while also using its own resources to build vents, respirators and face shields. GM intends to build ventilators at an Indiana-based car factory and recently announced it will soon be able to make 50,000 face masks a day. Tesla chief Elon Musk recently stated the car company’s New York factory will soon reopen to produce ventilators — perhaps even the vents shown in the video here.