COVID-19: Tesla to make ventilators, M&T tech hub on hold

Mar 26, 2020

South Buffalo's Tesla gigfactory may reopen, not to make solar panels, but desperately needed ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

The plant has been closed since Friday, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo's list of non-essential businesses didn't include solar panel factories.

Announcing his plans in a tweet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company is making good progress in planning for ventilator production, saying it will "as soon as humanly possible."

In an earlier tweet, Musk said he has been talking with medical device maker Medtronic to have Tesla make one of its ventilator designs.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown also reacted to M&T Bank stalling its tech hub in the Seneca One tower.

"M&T is trying to practice social distancing in all of its operations, working to protect the construction workforce working on their projects throughout the footprint of M&T," Brown said. "This is temporarily halting, so we understand this decision."

Those workers were racing to finish the tech hub, which is slated to house 1,500 high-tech workers in developer Douglas Jemal's project at the foot of Main Street.