Tesla announced that it would reopen its New York production facility to manufacture medical devices instead of solar panels to assist Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) in producing ventilators, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said in a CNBC interview that the Fridley, Minn.-based company would ramp up ventilator production and is currently making 250 ventilators a week. With the help of Tesla, Medtronic is on track to double capacity and manufacture on a 24/7 basis.
“We’ve increased our capacity significantly — we’ve already doubled it and we’re on the way to doubling it again,” Israk said in the CNBC interview. “Our capacity is going up, we’re making these critical care ventilators which are in very high demand. We’re also opening up with other partners who have come forward. Tesla is one that people have heard about.”
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk said earlier this month that he had been in a “long engineering discussion” with Medtronic about its ventilators. Musk also said in a Tweet at the time that Tesla would make ventilators in the event of a shortage.
There have been numerous reports of device shortages around the world during the coronavirus pandemic. Several companies have begun to ramp up its production of the devices and companies like car manufacturer GM have modified manufacturing capabilities to produce ventilators.
“One of our ventilators will be made by Tesla and they’re fast on track to make that as well,” Ishrak told CNBC.
Musk last week said in a Tweet that the Buffalo, N.Y. solar panel facility – which told non-essential workers to remain at home – would reopen to produce ventilators.
“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,” Musk said in a March 25 Tweet.
Medtronic also this week open-sourced one of its lower level ventilator IPs, allowing startups, investors, manufacturers and academic institutions to ramp up ventilator design and production.