It looks like Tesla is becoming a supplier for Elon Musk’s Boring Company as the automaker confirms that they have an agreement with the startup to supply “certain vehicle motor and battery pack components.”
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Tesla confirmed the news last night in a proxy statement to shareholders for the announcement of their upcoming shareholder’s meeting.
In the section about transactions between companies related to Tesla’s board members and executives, the company wrote:
Elon Musk is a co-founder and significant stockholder of The Boring Company, with which we have entered into an agreement to sell certain vehicle motor and battery pack components. We expect to invoice approximately $400,000 in total for parts sold and to be sold to The Boring Company during 2017 and 2018.
The Boring Company, which is developing technologies to dig tunnels and an electric transportation system to operate inside those tunnels, has already said in a previous presentation that it planned to use Tesla’s powertrain technology for those transportation systems.
Musk recently announced that The Boring Company will focus on ‘loop’ and ‘hyperloop’ systems for pedestrians and cyclists. The system will feature a vehicle based on this concept:
Not much is known about the vehicle at this point, but it is expected to be able to travel at high-speeds – possibly on tracks – inside the tunnels, which could be operating in a low-pressure environment for higher speeds (hyperloop) or not (loop).
Tesla and its vehicles have also been involved in other aspects of the development of The Boring Company.
They have their own Model X (spotted by Electrek reader Kendall Cain at the Hawthorne Supercharger):
Musk also shared images of a Tesla Model X pulling 250,000 lbs of muck rail cars out of the Boring Company’s tunnel.
The startup can afford a few Tesla vehicles now that it is flush with cash. They recently raised $112.5 million, which came mostly from Musk himself – hence Tesla’s disclosure of the relationship with the company.
As shown above, we have seen plenty of evidence of The Boring Company’s plan to use Tesla’s technology and the current use of Tesla vehicles before, but this is the first time that we have a concrete look at the relationship between the two companies.
It looks like it will be a supplier/buyer type of relationship, which is about what we expected.
The timing is also interesting. If they are ordering parts in “2017 and 2018”, it means that they are probably building the prototype of the vehicle.
It’s interesting because they seem to still be more focused on the boring technology more than the transport technology at this point of the project. However, they are already working on a few miles of tunnels in which they could test their vehicles.