The Tesla designed fan uses a touch screen and a model 3 infotainment system computer. The computer controls other reused model 3 computers, which manage the flow of air through the machine via multiple valves connected to a collector designed by Tesla.
Using existing auto parts could help Tesla speed up fan production. Tesla has the parts on hand and does not have to compete with manufacturers of medical devices for supplies. Engineers also know these parts, so the learning curve is less steep.
Other automakers have pledged to build ventilators and other medical supplies in response to a national shortage. Ford is partnering with GE Healthcare to build fans in a Michigan factory and is working with 3M to produce respirators using certain reused car parts, including F-150 seat fans. General Motors is working with Ventec Life Systems to build fans in a factory in Indiana.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk previously said the Buffalo, New York, plant will reopen to produce fans. This plant normally produces solar panels, while automotive production takes place in Fremont, California. Both factories are currently closed due to home orders in their respective states. It is not known if Tesla will also build fans in Fremont.
Musk originally described the response to the pandemic as ” stupid“, But he quickly rotated to offer help. In addition to planning the manufacturing of ventilators, Musk made a commitment to purchase the devices and send them to hospitals in need. He has been criticized for potentially sending two-stage positive positive pressure devices (BiPAPs) rather than the invasive machines commonly used to treat coronavirus patients with respiratory problems, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has subsequently confirmed his intention to use BiPAP machines as a substitute due to the lack of conventional fans.