Tesla's Secret 'Palladium' Project to Upgrade Model X, Model S

Tesla's secret Palladium project will upgrade Model S and Model X's drivetrain and batteries.
Brad Bergan

Tesla has a new secret project called "Palladium" involving significant updates for the Model S and the Model X, according to an exclusive report from Electrek.


Tesla's secret upgrades for Model S, Model X

Earlier in 2020, new information that Tesla's "Roadrunner" secret project to manufacture its own new battery cells — along with new technology to produce them — arose.

Now we know Tesla has another secret in its belt — one codenamed "Palladium" — which is undergoing deployment in its Fremont factory and Gigafactory Nevada, Electrek reports.

Little is known about Tesla's project because the automaker is holding the information close-to-the-vest, compartmentalizing intel throughout the company. But Electrek's sources confirmed its existence.

New production lines, battery modules, drive units

The project involves the addition of new production lines for updated Model S and Model X versions. While it's not clear how comprehensive to Tesla's lineup the Palladium update will be — again, Tesla keeps secrets — this might be a major development.

The new Palladium update includes new battery modules and drive units — to be included in the forthcoming "Plaid" versions of the Model X and Model S.

New powertrain, Model S Plaid body modifications

Additionally, the new powertrain will enable a tri-motor configuration for plaid, which will increase efficiency and performance. Electrek doesn't have specific numbers, but we can expect the increase to be significant, else Tesla wouldn't have a reason for the secrecy.

When Tesla began tests of early prototypes for the Model S Plaid, it featured body modifications, but it wasn't clear whether Tesla planned to apply these for mass production.

For now, Tesla is updating Fremont- and Nevada-based production lines in line with its new Palladium project. The launch date isn't officially set and remains an unknown, but Tesla's September 'battery day' should unveil some of the mystery.

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Palladium: mystery in a name

It's unclear why Tesla codenamed the project "Palladium." As one of the six platinum-group metals, the majority of which is mined worldwide and is used in catalytic converters in car exhausts.

It could mean the Model S and Model X will see use of palladium in new components — but it could also be a subliminal jab at combustion engines, which use palladium to clean up the emissions associated with global climate change.

In a way, Tesla plays the role of palladium for the entire auto industry. Additionally, the price of palladium has shot up sharply in the last several years — with some experts comparing it to the rise of Tesla's stock. Whatever it is, we'll have our ear to the ground with bated breath for details on the automaker's latest secret project.

(H/T Electrek)

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