Tesla will begin manufacturing ventilators made by medical equipment company Medtronic in an effort to address the medical supply shortage due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak appeared on a televised episode of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on the morning of March 25 to talk about his company’s ramping efforts to increase production of ventilators and help those affected by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re also opening up with other partners who have come forward. Tesla is one that I think people have heard about. One of our ventilators will be made by them, and they’re fast on track to make that as well,” Ishrak said in the CNBC interview.
Musk stated that the Tesla team is “making good progress” toward the development of manufacturing the ventilators at the Fremont production facility. “We will do whatever is needed to help in these difficult times,” he added.
In response to a plea for help by New York officials, Musk noted that its factory in New York is expected to reopen for ventilator production. “Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible. We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York,”
Ishrak added that Tesla will be manufacturing the Medtronic Puritan Bennett 980 ventilator, which is the company’s highest-volume product. Tesla is also looking to begin manufacturing other products that Medtronic offers.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk began speaking with Medtronic on March 21. After stating that he had just finished an extensive conversation with the Medtronics team regarding the engineering of their ventilators, he added that they had a “very impressive team!” Musk seems to have struck up a relationship with the Medtronic team, as he will now begin manufacturing their most popular ventilator system.
Just had a long engineering discussion with Medtronic about state-of-the-art ventilators. Very impressive team!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2020
Musk and Tesla have already made attempts to alleviate the shortage of ventilator systems in the United States. Recently, Musk announced the purchase and delivery of 1,200 ventilators from China, noting the country had an oversupply.
“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,” Musk tweeted. The ventilators were delivered to the City of Los Angeles earlier this week.
Watch Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak’s interview with CNBC below.