Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that the California-based automaker bought hospital ventilators in China and shipped them to the United States. The purchase comes as governments across the globe, including here in the U.S., appeal to automakers and aerospace companies help procure or make ventilators and other medical equipment.
Yup, China had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & airshipped them to LA. If you want a free ventilator installed, please let us know!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 24, 2020
"China had an oversupply, so we bought 1255 FDA-approved ResMed, Philips & Medtronic ventilators on Friday night & airshipped them to LA," Musk said on Twitter.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday said the state would receive 1,000 ventilators from Tesla as the United States braces to deal with an influx of patients infected by the coronavirus.
Authorities are hoping large-scale manufacturers can use their low-cost supply chains and digital design expertise, including 3D printing, and repurpose some factories in order to make up the expected shortfall in vital medical hardware. On March 21, Musk tweeted that he "had a long engineering discussion with Medtronic about state-of-the-art ventilators," adding that they have a "Very impressive team!"
Just had a long engineering discussion with Medtronic about state-of-the-art ventilators. Very impressive team!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2020
Carmakers have cautioned that assembling delicate medical equipment to standards adequate for use in hospital intensive care units remains a challenge. That said, GM and ventilator maker Ventec Life systems announced on Monday they were forming a partnership to produce 200,000 Ventec ventilator machines at a GM facility in Kokomo, Indiana, with GM sourcing 95 percent of the machines' parts.
Reuters contributed to this report.