Elon Musk’s, Tesla Inc. co-founder has surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person. This came after the 49-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth jumped from $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion, following a massive surge in Tesla’s share price, reported Bloomberg. Musk has added $100.3 billion to his net worth this year, the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. In January, he ranked 35th. Musk’s milestone has been largely driven by the electric automaker, whose market value hit $500 billion after Tesla shares rallied further on Tuesday.
About three-quarters of Musk’s net worth is comprised of Tesla shares, which are valued more than four times as much as his stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp. or SpaceX. This is the second time in the index’s eight-year history that Microsoft co-founder Gates has ranked lower than number two. He held the top spot for many years before being beaten by Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos in 2017. Gates’s net worth of $127.7 billion would be much higher had he not donated so generously to multiple charity organisations over the years. He has given more than $27 billion to his namesake foundation since 2006, reported Variety.
Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, mentioned there was huge demand for Tesla’s flagship Model 3 car in Europe and China. Ives raised his price target for Tesla from $500 to $560 and increased his “bull case” from $800 to $1,000. He noted Tesla was likely to achieve its goal of 1m electric car deliveries by 2023. “The Tesla bull story is now all about a stepped-up EV [electric vehicle] demand trajectory into 2021,” he said in a research note to clients. “Overall we are seeing a major inflection of EV demand globally with our expectations that EV vehicles ramp from about 3% of total auto sales today to 10% by 2025,” added Ives. Tesla has the highest market value of any car company in the world, even though it makes far fewer vehicles than its competitors.