Tesla – A disruptive force in the markets

It would be an understatement to say that Tesla drives much of the conversation in the global markets.

Elon Musk serves as CEO and product architect of this dynamic EV manufacturer, just one of many businesses he is directly involved in, alongside SpaceX and Neuralink. While he may not be the world’s first ever centibillionaire, Mr Musk is currently the world’s wealthiest person, with a net worth of $190 billion – just shy of the entire gross domestic product of New Zealand.

We wanted to show that it was possible for an electric car to be one of the best cars in the world. That’s necessary in order to change people’s minds.

– Elon Musk, talking to The Independent

Tesla is breaking new ground on a regular basis, and Mr Musk is also a disruptive influence as an investor and public figure. What can we expect to come out of this EV behemoth next, and how is Elon Musk making waves around the world?

A never-ending conveyor belt

Much of the world economy came to a grinding halt in 2020, but that didn’t stop Tesla from unveiling the Model Y, an electric-only SUV with dual electric motors capable of propelling it from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 3.5 seconds. A single charge is supposed to be enough to power the Model Y for a journey of up to 314 miles, and it should take just 15 minutes to recharge it sufficiently enough to power it for 168 miles alone.

Tesla claims to have over 20,000 Supercharger devices installed around the world, with six new sites opening each week. The UK is home to 500 Superchargers, as of June 2020. The latest version of these devices, the Supercharger V3, has helped British EV users travel over 60 million electric miles in 2019 as a result.

This demonstrates that Tesla isn’t simply churning out EV car after EV car without much regard for how they will actually work – they are actively creating the infrastructure to sustain a thriving EV environment, to make more people sit up and take notice.

For 2021, Tesla is reportedly working on a modified version of its Model S, a 5-seat saloon car which is expected to have a modified steering wheel, enhanced touchscreen features and much more. Expect this to start rolling into a Tesla dealership from late 2021 onwards.

Mr Musk, the market maker

If you’re looking to the markets, you’ll know that Tesla is one of the hottest stocks in the US markets at present. Elon Musk famously provoked the ire of shareholders in 2018, when he tweeted his intention to make the company private, if the share price hit $420.

As of February 2021, the company’s share price is now worth over $870 per share, having soared by 459 per cent in just one year. However, Tesla’s inexorable rise in value in such a short space of time isn’t the only time Elon Musk has made great waves on world markets.

Elon Musk is a fierce critic of the practice of short selling, whereby investors borrow a stock, sell it and prompt a crash in value, before buying it back at a cheaper price, while making a net profit in the process. This is a common practice employed by hedge funds, and was on display especially with a listed company called GameStop in recent months.

However, an army of Redditors have been buying into GameStop, undermining efforts by hedge funds trying to short the company’s stock. Elon Musk appeared to lend his support to the Reddit-based campaign. In just a matter of hours, GameStop’s share price soared to astronomically high levels, pushing hedge funds to make massive losses and pull out of short positions entirely.

Not only is Tesla disrupting the car market, gobbling up market share as a producer of energy-efficient and hi-tech cars. Its CEO is also something of a market maker, and it literally pays to keep and eye on what he chooses to tweet about next.

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