Tesla factory is going to make medical equipment

Car companies all over the world are shutting down their automobile production. But they are, of course, not standing still either. Development of new (electric) models is continuing. And there is a new development underway on the production side as well. More and more companies are offering to make face masks, surgical masks and respirators.

For example, the BBC reports that Fiat has started production of one million face masks in China this week. In the UK, Formula 1 teams are trying to develop medical equipment that can help in the fight against corona. The supplier Prodrive is involved in this, among other things.

Fast corona test from Bosch

In the United States, General Motors, Ford and Tesla have declared their willingness to redirect their production. Ford is working with 3M and General Electric. In India, the government has enlisted the help of Maruti Suzuki, M&M, Tata Motors and Hyundai. M&M is now working with ventilator exporter Skanray Technologies. According to Reuters, the company Zettl Automotive among others has entered the face protection market in Switzerland and Germany. And technology and services supplier Bosch announced today that it is has developed a rapid Corona test.

In The Netherlands, car and truck manufacture has also come to a standstill. DAF, Scania and VDL Nedcar have suspended production for four weeks. They join a long list of factories in Europe and the rest of the world. These include Volkswagen, Peugeot, Renault, Audi, Ferrari, Daimler, BMW, Audi, Toyota, Honda, Nissan plus, since yesterday, Austin Martin in Great Britain.

Approximately 14 million people work in the automobile industry in Europe. It is the largest industrial employer. Meanwhile, in China the first factories are in the process of cautiously starting up again.

Development of electric cars to proceed as planned

Fresh start-ups in the automotive sector are likely to suffer from the corona crisis to a lesser extent. At least, this is the case for the Dutch company Lightyear (based in Helmond) which is currently working on a solar car. “For us, the work is continuing on full speed ahead,” says spokeswoman Tessie Hartjes. “Most of the work that is currently being done is digital and is focused on development. So, that can just keep on going. Tests will also need to be carried out in the coming months, but we will find a solution for that.”

 

Become a member!

On Innovation Origins you can read the latest news about the world of innovation every day. We want to keep it that way, but we can't do it alone! Are you enjoying our articles and would you like to support independent journalism? Become a member and read our stories guaranteed ad-free.

About the author

Author profile picture Maurits Kuypers graduated as a macroeconomist from the University of Amsterdam, specialising in international work. He has been active as a journalist since 1997, first for 10 years on the editorial staff of Het Financieele Dagblad in Amsterdam, then as a freelance correspondent in Berlin and Central Europe. When it comes to technological innovations, he always has an eye for the financial feasibility of a project.