Elon Musk discusses with Joe Rogan the next generation Tesla Roadster’s ability to hover

For the third time, Tesla CEO Elon Musk joined Joe Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, with the episode being released earlier today. Musk detailed some more details about the next-gen Roadster’s development in the episode, shedding more light on Tesla’s unfinished but highly anticipated project. Musk dove into the ability of the Roadster to hover with Rogan, suggesting it could be limited to decrease risk of injury.

For his third appearance on the JRE Podcast, Musk joined Joe Rogan once more. Rogan tweeted the announcement of the podcast episode on February 11th, exclusively available on Spotify, for which Rogan signed a huge deal in 2020.

On two previous occasions, Musk joined Rogan on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast: one on September 7th, 2018, and another on May 7th, 2020. The first appearance in 2018, with over 40.7 million views, is Rogan’s most watched podcast episode on YouTube. Musk’s second appearance yielded significantly less views at 20.5 million, but it is still the fourth most popular episode in the history of the JRE Podcast.

In the most recent episode, Musk and Rogan skimmed through various important topics. Musk’s remarks on the next-generation Tesla Roadster, which has been in production for many years, were one of the most notable.

Next Generation Tesla Roadster Hovering Ability

Musk told Rogan that Tesla is “finishing the engineering of the Roadster this year” and will “hopefully” start shipping the car next year sometime. “We’re going to throw some rocket technology in that car,” Musk said, speaking of the planned release of the speculative SpaceX kit. Musk and Tesla intend to install SpaceX cold-gas thrusters on the vehicle, which will increase acceleration (as if it needed any). The CEO also said he would like to put thrusters for hovering capabilities under the vehicle, but it has not yet been worked out.

Musk said:

“I want it to hover. I’m trying to figure out how to make this thing hover, without, you know, killing people. I thought, maybe we could make it hover, but not too high. So maybe it could hover, like, a meter above the ground, or something. So, if you plummet, you blow out the suspension, but you’re not going to die. Maybe, I don’t know, six feet. If we put a height limit on it, it will probably be fine.”

Rogan then questioned if it would be possible for the Roadster to fly while it was suspended in mid-air. Musk replied clearly, “Yeah.”

Musk told Rogan that “pretty fast” would be the rate of travel while hovering, but that it would be subject to time limits to restrict operators from being off the ground for too long. It comes with some catches, however.

If a Roadster owner wants the SpaceX kit, two passenger seats will be removed from the rear, ensuring that only two people will be able to sit in the car at a time. Instead, a high-pressure carbon overwrap pressure vessel will replace the rear seats, which will be “around 10,000 PSI,” Musk says. The vessel will be joined by a pair of thrusters.

Musk admits that, however, this may not be feasible. He spoke about what would be released instead.

“At a minimum, I’m confident we could do a thruster where the license plate flips down, James Bond-style, and there would be a rocket thruster behind it, and that gives you three tons of thrust.”

Roadster Release Date

This year, Musk plans to have engineering completed on the Roadster, an information he communicated in late January after the 2020 Q4 Earnings Call.

In addition, applicants for the Roadster release could be on the road this summer. “Tri-motor drive system & advanced battery work were important precursors,” Musk also said. Now, the work will turn to whether Tesla engineers will find out how to hover and fly at the same time to make the next-gen Roadster, a far cry from the Tesla vehicle initially released in 2008.

Musk’s full interview with Rogan is available here.

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