It is a triumph for the disrupters, the ethos that makes the mercurial Elon Musk who he is. A decade ago, in the age of fossil fuel cars, Elon Musk decided to build everyday electric cars and took on the century old carmakers’ lobby. The efforts paid off in 2017 when Tesla’s market cap overtook GM, America’s biggest car maker, by a billion.
Knowing the volatile nature of financial markets, the joy might be short-lived for Tesla but the event marks an important milestone in the history of automobiles. In 13 years of its existence, Tesla has built only a few cars, most of which are quite expensive to begin with. Also, with electric infrastructure still in its nascent stages, the sales volumes aren’t anywhere close to what the GMs, Fords and Toyotas sell. But, Tesla has managed to define a start.
It is widely accepted that cars will be going the electric way and Tesla’s success in convincing their shareholders to back the venture is significant. It has led to a rise in their share values, helping Tesla raise more funds to invest in further research. The upcoming Model 3, being a budget car is expected to bring in volumes. Mainstream carmakers are also expanding their electric and hybrid portfolios and efforts are being made to develop the required infrastructure as well.