How Tesla and SpaceX worked with and paid each other in the past year

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Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) and Tesla Inc., speaks during an event at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019.

Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On Tuesday, Tesla revealed in a new SEC filing some of the ways that it works with CEO Elon Musk’s aerospace venture, SpaceX.

The filing shows related party transactions that included the purchase of $600,000 of Tesla car parts by SpaceX in the first quarter of 2020.

While transactions between the two firms aren’t new, Tesla hasn’t ever reported a bulk sale of car parts to SpaceX. There are other areas where Tesla and SpaceX sometimes work together.

SpaceX is collaborating with NASA and astronauts will drive to their launchpad in Tesla vehicles during a forthcoming (and historic) launch, for example. Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken took a Tesla Model X ride to the launchpad during a ‘dress rehearsal” for the launch in January this year, too. It’s not known how many Tesla vehicles SpaceX may own or operate in its fleet.

In September 2019, Musk told his Twitter followers that SpaceX would use battery packs from Tesla in their Starship development efforts. (Starship is a spacecraft that Elon Musk wants to eventually carry people and cargo to Mars.)

Here are the transactions between the two companies over the past year, according to the filing: 

  • SpaceX purchased $1 million worth of “battery components” from Tesla in 2019. It also purchased $1.2 million more of those components in the first quarter of 2020.
  • SpaceX also purchased “non-battery vehicle parts” from Tesla in 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, the filing says. The car parts were standard items out of Tesla’s parts catalog, the kind any regular auto shop or Tesla service center would need to complete repairs. Sales of Tesla car parts to SpaceX amounted to $600,000 in 2019, and $600,000 in the first quarter of 2020 alone.
  • SpaceX is also paying Tesla around $700,000 for a custom tool, which the automaker will build at its machining facility. (The price included labor hours, Tesla noted.)
  • Tesla Energy sold a system to SpaceX for $300,000 in 2019.
  • SpaceX charged Tesla $200,000 for use of its private jet in the first quarter of 2020. 

Musk started SpaceX before he became a board member and eventually, CEO of Tesla.

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