CHATSWORTH, CA — What does a Tesla have to do with COVID-19?
Actually, a lot. Hospitals need power supplies to keep thelights on almost as much as they need medical supplies. A Chatsworth renewableenergy company called BigBattery, Inc., which is the largest supplier ofsurplus and re-certified batteries in the United States, is repurposinglithium-ion batteries from old Teslas and other electric vehicles into solartrailers that serve as back-up power sources for COVID-19 triage centers atlocal hospitals.
BigBattery has offered these trailers free of charge tohospitals across LA County that need them, including Keck Medicine of USC, UCLAHospitals, Valley Medical Center, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.
The factory is also using its supply chain in China toprovide hospitals with valuable medical supplies like safety goggles,disposable face masks, face shields, protective suits, and a foldable face-maskanti-dust respirator. The company recently brought in 4.8 million medical-grademasks that it distributed to hospitals.
While many local businesses struggle, Big Battery has beenable to stay afloat by providing the power and medical supplies needed duringthe pandemic. “We didn’t have to lay anybody off – we just pivoted and learnedhow to go with the flow and learn how to make our solutions work to fight COVID-19,”said BigBattery Founder Eric Lundgren.
Michael Wittner and Fox 11 Los Angeles contributed to this report.