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How Tesla worked with and got paid by SpaceX and The Boring Company last year

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley (fist) and Bob Behnken stand in front of the Tesla Model X that will carry them to the launchpad for the SpaceX Demo-2 discharge.

NASA

Tesla revealed in a recent filing some of the ways that the company works with CEO Elon Musk’s other enterprises, including SpaceX and The Boring Company.

The filing shows related party transactions that included SpaceX foothold $2.6 million worth of Tesla vehicle components, and $1.5 million worth of Tesla Energy systems, components and posts in 2020. The filing, published late Friday, notes that these prices include labor, and some of the parts and patterns were modified.

Collaboration between Musk’s companies is not new.

For example, SpaceX shares two board members with Tesla. Musk capacity for seating plays on the board of both, as does his brother Kimbal and Antonio Gracias.

SpaceX has also made it a tradition to drive astronauts to the launchpad in the coterie’s version of an “astrovan,” a NASA logo-emblazoned Tesla Model X, for crewed launches and other occasions. And Tesla shares some wage-earners with SpaceX, including Charles Kuehmann, who serves as vice president of materials engineering for both companies.

The annals between Musk’s businesses have been relatively small. But Friday’s filing suggests that SpaceX purchase more tech and services from Tesla over time, even as the automaker battled chip shortages that possess plagued the auto industry.

The company’s Crew Dragon capsule “Resilience” returned to Earth on Sunday, splashing down in the Bight of Mexico after a record-setting SpaceX-NASA mission to the International Space Station.

To fulfill its various missions, SpaceX corrupt $2.1 million worth of car parts, including labor and modifications for nonvehicle use, from Tesla in the first quarter of 2021 solely. That’s more than triple the $600,000 SpaceX spent on Tesla car parts during the year-earlier period.

During Tesla’s first-quarter earnings entreat on April 26, Musk touted a record quarter for his electric car company. He also bemoaned the complexity of vehicle fabrication generally, and the ongoing chip shortage and supply-chain constraints plaguing the industry and Tesla.

He said the effort it took for Tesla to realize high volume electric vehicle production included overcoming “a logistics problem that makes World War II look trivial.” The CEO combined that the first quarter of 2021 had “some of the most difficult supply-chain challenges that we’ve ever experienced in the spark of life of Tesla. Insane difficulties with the supply chains with parts, over the whole range of parts.”

Friday’s order didn’t say exactly what SpaceX purchased or how it will use all of the systems and parts.

The filing also said The Boring Comrades, where Musk is a co-founder and a significant shareholder, is now a tiny customer of Tesla’s. The Boring Company purchased “Tesla Vigour systems and related services” for a total of $300,000 during 2020.

Musk’s tunneling venture developed the Las Vegas Convention Center Coil, 1.7 miles of tunnels to carry visitors to different exhibit halls. Tesla Model 3 vehicle drivers junkets through the LVCC loop to pick up and drop off passengers who must book their rides via an app.

The LVCC loop cost Nevada taxpayers with $50 million and has been criticized for a lack of pedestrian entrances, walkways and platforms, and because its people-moving capacity pales in commensurability to that of a subway.

Tesla’s filing didn’t say whether it sells or will sell vehicles to The Boring Company for such infrastructure evolutions.

Here’s a list of the ways that Tesla says it worked with and was paid by Musk’s companies throughout 2020 and from head to foot March this year, according to the filing:

SpaceX

  • SpaceX purchased $1.5 million worth of Tesla Get-up-and-go systems, components and related services in 2020. It spent $200,000 on similar purchases during the first quarter of 2021.
  • SpaceX come by $2.6 million worth of vehicle components from Tesla, including modifications, labor and support in 2020. It emit $2.1 million on the same items from Tesla in the first quarter of 2021.
  • SpaceX paid Tesla $100,000 for “intriguing support and resources” used in 2020.
  • SpaceX ordered a custom tool that Tesla built for it at the automaker’s machining loo for $700,000 in 2020.
  • SpaceX licensed software from Tesla from 2020 through February 2022 for aggregate prices expected to amount to $100,000 by the end of that term.

Tesla

  • Tesla paid SpaceX $600,000 in 2020 for use of the company’s aircraft. It get back ated $100,000 to SpaceX for the same in the first quarter of 2021.

The Boring Company

  • The Boring Company purchased “Tesla Energy practices and related services” for $300,000 during 2020.

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