Tesla May Be Making Ventilators to Support NYC Hospitals with Coronavirus Patients

In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Tesla Inc., CEO Elon Musk tweeted to suggest that the company may be manufacturing ventilators for hospitals who are experiencing a shortage.

On Wednesday, March 19th, Musk tweeted saying, “We will make ventilators if there is a shortage.”

Musk continued in a later tweet explaining that “Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems. SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly. Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?”

While some people are doubtful of Musk’s sincerity, the real problem is addressed in his tweet. Ventilators take time to produce. Looking at Italy as a model for handling the outbreak, US hospitals are scrambling to procure the appropriate amount of ventilators in order to handle a flood of patients.

New York City mayor Bill De Blasio replied to Musk, taking the initial tweet quite seriously. In his tweet, de Blasio suggested that the city would reach out directly.

Tesla’s capacity to produce ventilators depends on its ability to maintain function at its Fremont, California factory. With shelter in place orders effective in the Bay Area, it’s unclear whether Tesla will be able to remain operational. In any case, many are citing Musk’s past philanthropic ventures as evidence that the CEO intends to follow through on his statement.