Here’s how Tesla worked with SpaceX and The Boring Company in 2020
NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (left) and Bob Behnken stand in front of the Tesla Model X which will transport them to the launch pad for the launch of SpaceX Demo-2.
You’re here revealed in a recent filing some of the ways the company works with CEO Elon Musk’s other businesses, including SpaceX and The Boring Company.
The filing shows related party transactions that included SpaceX’s $ 2.6 million purchase of Tesla vehicle components and $ 1.5 million of Tesla Energy systems, components and services in 2020. The filing, published Friday evening, note that these prices include labor and that some parts and systems have been modified.
Collaboration between Musk companies is not new.
For example, SpaceX shares two board members with Tesla. Elon Musk sits on the boards of both, as does his brother Kimbal Musk and Antonio Gracias.
SpaceX has also made a tradition of leading astronauts to the launch pad in the company’s version of an “astrovan,” a Tesla Model X emblazoned with the NASA logo, for crew launches and other occasions. And Tesla shares some employees with SpaceX, including Charles Kuehmann, who serves as vice president of materials engineering for the two companies.
Transactions between Musk’s companies have been relatively small so far. But Friday’s filing suggests SpaceX bought more technology and services from Tesla over time, even as the automaker battled chip shortages that plagued the auto industry.
The company’s Crew Dragon “Resilience” capsule returned to Earth on Sunday, crashing in the Gulf of Mexico after a record-breaking SpaceX-NASA mission to the International Space Station.
To fulfill its various missions, SpaceX purchased $ 2.1 million worth of auto parts, including labor and modifications for non-automotive use, from Tesla in the first quarter of 2021 alone. is more than triple the $ 600,000 spent by SpaceX on Tesla auto parts in the same period the year before.
During Tesla’s first quarter earnings call on April 26, 2021, Musk touted a record quarter for his electric car company. He also lamented the complexity of vehicle production in general, as well as the chip shortage and supply chain constraints plaguing the industry and Tesla.
He said the effort it took for Tesla to reach production of high-volume electric vehicles was to overcome “a logistical problem that made World War II insignificant.” The CEO added that the first quarter of 2021 had, “… some of the toughest supply chain challenges we’ve ever faced in Tesla’s life. Insane struggles with supply chains with parts, across the entire range of parts. “
Friday’s Tesla filing didn’t say exactly what SpaceX bought or how it will use all systems and parts.
The record also indicates that The Boring Company, where Musk is a co-founder and significant shareholder, is now also a small customer of Tesla. The Boring Company purchased “Tesla Energy systems and related services” for a total of $ 300,000 in 2020.
Musk’s Tunneling Company developed the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, 1.7 miles of tunnels to transport visitors to different exhibition halls. Drivers of Tesla Model 3 vehicles travel the LVCC loop to pick up and drop off passengers who need to book their rides through an app.
The LVCC Loop cost Nevada taxpayers around $ 50 million and has been criticized for its lack of pedestrian entrances, walkways, and platforms, and for its ability to move people which is paltry compared to that of ‘a subway.
Tesla’s filing on Friday did not say whether it is or will sell vehicles to The Boring Company for such infrastructure developments.
Here is a list of the ways Tesla says it worked and was paid by Elon Musk’s companies throughout 2020 and through March of this year, according to the filing:
- SpaceX bought $ 1.5 million worth of Tesla Energy systems, components and related services in 2020. It spent $ 200,000 on similar purchases in the first quarter of 2021.
- SpaceX bought $ 2.6 million in vehicle components from Tesla, including modifications, labor, and support in 2020. It spent $ 2.1 million on the same Tesla items in first quarter of 2021.
- SpaceX paid Tesla $ 100,000 for “technical support and resources” used in 2020.
- SpaceX ordered a custom tool Tesla built for it at the automaker’s machine plant for $ 700,000 in 2020.
- SpaceX licensed software from Tesla from 2020 to February 2022 for an aggregate fee expected to rise to $ 100,000 by the end of that period.
- Tesla paid SpaceX $ 600,000 in 2020 for the use of the company’s aircraft. He paid SpaceX $ 100,000 for the same in the first quarter of 2021.
The boring company
- The Boring Company purchased “Tesla Energy Systems and Related Services” for $ 300,000 in 2020.