Tesla, the auto company owned by Elon Musk, reached a unique milestone by becoming the world’s richest car company at $1,000 per share, and a market cap of $185bn. The share prices have come down a little bit since its peak, but for some time its value was worth more than Ford ($27bn), FCA (£20bn), and GM ($41bn) combined.
Tesla - the richest car company - 2020
Tesla officially surpassed its main rival for the title, Toyota, which is valued at roughly $203 billion.
Tesla has seen its shares of ups and downs, but its Model 3 car has been a show stopper, and it has seen its share prices see an upward spiral since 2019.
The auto sector has taken a beating due to the coronavirus pandemic with the supply chain being disturbed in China, consumer confidence going low, factories closing down, and sales abysmal.
Tesla has still been able to meet its production target. In spite of selling a much lesser number of cars than its nearest competitor, the company’s revenues are impressive.
Tesla has captivated investors’ imaginations as a sure bet due in part to the charismatic leader Elon Musk and also the industry and governmental shift to more sustainable technologies like EVs.
Wedbush Securities, a US-based investment firm, increased its target share price to $1,000 on Wednesday, attributing “game-changing” developments as the reason behind the price lift.
A million-mile benchmark
One reason for Tesla’s rising fortunes is the “million-mile” battery that is already in the works in China and will be put in the Model 3 sedan. This new upgraded technology will drive down the prices of the electric cars comparable to the ones run on internal combustion engines.
Electric vehicle batteries, at present, give over 1,000 charge cycles on average as the crystal cathodes used in batteries degrade fast. Tesla’s research team has patented cathodes using larger crystal that can last for 4-5,000 charge cycles. The current Tesla batteries have a life of around 200,000 miles; it is believed the new batteries could give the much-touted million-mile benchmark.
Chinese company CATL has claimed its factory readiness to manufacture batteries capable of giving 1.2 million miles. This almost confirms that it has Tesla as its customer. The new batteries will also lower the dependence on cobalt, which is a rare earth metal and expensive.
The use of alternative technologies and materials in electric vehicle batteries is sure to change the future of EVs. Tesla being in the forefront, will again manage to stay ahead of its rivals.
Hence, the investor confidence which makes Tesla the richest car company in the world in 2020. Although, as usual, some investors are advising caution and saying the share prices of the company are overvalued.
Another reason for the 16-year short journey to richness for Tesla is because of its bets on innovation. It was the first to introduce lithium-based ion batteries. This improved the speed of EVs to up to 200 miles, which was very competitive and people were ready to pay a premium price for it because of its deliverability in that category rather than any belief in climate change.
Telsa has been competitive in delivering premium models giving competition to Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and BMW together. Its Model 3 outsold every model BMW sells put together in Q2 2019 in this class as well as everything from Mercedes and Audio too. Now it is putting together a cheaper version.