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Elon Musk Explains Jay Leno The Details of Tesla Roadster's Rocket Thruster

Yesterday, CNBC released a couple of sneak peek teasers of Jay Leno’s Garage Cybertruck Episode, in which Jay Leno and Tesla CEO talk about the 2020 Tesla Roadster with rocket thrusters! Elon Musk describes it as "full-on James Bond” and explains how the rocket thruster will work in a Tesla Roadster if the car doesn’t run on fuel.


Tesla Roadster is an electric car. But the CEO Elon Musk tells it will have a rocket thruster option. The question is how can an electric car have a rocket thruster if it doesn't have fuel.

The teaser starts with Elon Musk telling Jay Leno that the next Tesla Roadster will have an option to have rocket thrusters. Then the conversation goes like this.

Jay Leno: A rocket thruster?
Elon Musk: Yes, from SpaceX.
Jay: All right. So, how does that work? See, I don’t know when you are kidding and when you are not.
Musk: No, in this case I am serious.
Jay: So, you are going to have a rocket thruster.
Musk: Yes.
Jay: And what will fire the thruster if there is no fuel in the car?
Musk: No, we are going to use an ultra-high-pressure compressed air.
Jay: Oh, I see. OK.
Musk: So it’s called gas thruster.
Jay: OK, all right.
Musk: The main thrust will be behind the license plate. So for acceleration, it drops the license plate, and behind the license plate is the rocket thruster. It’s like a full James Bond.

Cold Gas Thruster in a Tesla Roadster: How?

So I did a little research to find out what cold gas thruster is and how Tesla can use it in its 2020 Roadster. A cold gas thruster is a simple rocket engine used in smaller spacecraft.

According to Wikipedia, cold gas thrusters are mainly used to provide stabilization for smaller space missions that require a contaminant-free operation. This is how it can be safely used in a car like the Tesla Roadster. Tesla probably learned how to use a rocket thruster in an electric car from its SpaceX experience.

Cold gas thrusters have a simple design, which allows them to be used in a smaller rocket. Thus, it will suit the Tesla Roadster well. The simple design is less likely to fail and the fuel of the cold gas thruster is less expensive than the fuel of the regular rocket engines.

Here is probably one of the most important points. Cold gas thrusters require very little electrical energy to operate, which is useful in our case for the Roadster to save the battery power to maintain a longer range.

Jay Leno’s Garage Cybertruck episode is airing on Wednesday, May 27 at 10 PM ET on CNBC.

Also, see my last report in which Elon Musk tells Jay Leno about Tesla Cybertruck's upcoming changes before it reaches production.

Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

Reference: CNBC and Wikipedia.