Elon Musk has often leveraged technological development and expertise between his companies, Tesla and SpaceX.
Now he says that it’s technologies mastered through SpaceX’s rocket development that in part enabled the insane specs of the next-generation Roadster, which pretty much accelerates like a rocket ship, as we found out in our test ride.
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In the past, Musk said that SpaceX benefited from Tesla’s manufacturing efforts, while the rocket company transferred novel welding techniques and equipment to Tesla.
But in terms of direct application to improving performance, Musk also said that Tesla’s ‘Ludicrous Mode’ was partly enabled by applying a material expertise developed by SpaceX.
Tesla replaced the main pack contactor to use Inconel instead of steel. Inconel is a space-grade superalloy well suited for extreme high-temperature environments. This superalloy is primarily used in the aerospace industry, and one of its more famous use is in the novel manufacturing process of SpaceX’s SuperDraco engine.
At the time, Ludicrous Mode made Tesla’s Model S the quickest production vehicle ever.
Based on the specs Tesla released last week, the next-generation Roadster aims to beat even more records than Ludicrous Mode did for Model S and sure enough, it sounds like SpaceX also had a hand in it.
Musk wrote on Twitter yesterday:
It sounds like the latest cooperation between Tesla and SpaceX.
While Tesla released a lot of performance specs for the next generation Roadster last week, it didn’t release a lot of technical specs beyond the 200 kWh battery pack. We are going to try to explore that in more details in upcoming posts.
Tesla focused on the energy capacity of the pack and highlighted the range of 620 miles, which is impressive, but there’s no doubt that it also enables a record-breaking power output in order to result in those kinds of performance.
With rockets and spacecraft, SpaceX is used to dealing with incredible amounts of power, which is why it’s not surprising to see some collaboration here.
It might just be an impression, but it seems that those collaborations have been more frequent recently.
Tesla is developing IT tools in collaboration with SpaceX and the two companies have even been sharing executives, like a former Apple alloy expert leading materials engineering at both Tesla and SpaceX.
The two companies also worked together on a hyperloop pod pusher for SpaceX’s hyperloop competition. Also, Elon Musk’s Boring Company, which has strong links with SpaceX, plans to use Tesla’s technology for its tunnel project under LA.
Am I the only one who finds this increasing synergy between Musk’s companies intriguing? Let us know in the comment section below.