Elon Musk Claims Optimus Robots Could Make Tesla A $25 Trillion Company

On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk asserted that his company’s Optimus humanoid robots could eventually boost Tesla’s market value to exceed half of that.

Elon Musk, who referred to himself as “pathologically optimistic,” declared that Tesla is not just starting a “new chapter” but is ready to create a whole “new book” at the 2024 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. Tesla’s humanoid robot, Optimus, is central to this narrative.

Presented by a dancer wearing a unitard designed to resemble a sleek, androgynous robot, Optimus debuted in 2021 during Tesla’s AI Day. Tesla unveiled a demonstration video in January featuring Optimus robots folding laundry. Robotics engineers, however, criticized the demonstration for being misleading because the robots were human-controlled rather than autonomous.

At the shareholder meeting, Musk skipped over the details of Optimus’s current capabilities. He hints that these robots may eventually do jobs like cleaning, cooking, assembly line labor, and even teaching children, just like R2-D2 and C-3PO from Star Wars. Musk predicted that Tesla’s market value might eventually reach $25 trillion thanks to Optimus.

Speaking to a largely enthusiastic crowd at the Gigafactory, Musk disclosed that humanoid robot testing will occur in Tesla’s factories in 2025, along with plans for “limited production” of Optimus. By 2025, he predicted that Tesla would employ “over 1,000, or a few thousand, Optimus robots.”

These ambitious estimations are typical of Musk, who has a track record of making bold claims that often take forever to fulfill. Just ahead of Microsoft, Apple is currently the biggest company in the world in terms of market capitalization, and Tesla would need to increase its value by approximately eight times to reach a $25 trillion market cap.

With a valuation of almost $580 billion as of Thursday’s close, Tesla is the tenth most valuable business in the S&P 500. Musk stated that autonomous vehicles may increase Tesla’s market capitalization to between $5 trillion and $7 trillion, but he did not specify a timeframe for hitting the $25 trillion milestone.

Musk’s forecasts aligned with those of Cathie Wood, CEO of ARK Invest, who previously stated that she believed Tesla’s stock might reach $2,600 by 2029 due to the company’s unrealized potential as a commercial robotaxi business. According to Wood, Tesla has a market valuation of over $8 trillion.

During the annual meeting, a vote to restore Musk’s $56 billion compensation plan, which the company had been forced to retract five months earlier by a Delaware court, was also held. When the plan was announced, the audience embraced it enthusiastically.

Musk took the stage after the shareholder votes were read, expressing his gratitude with, “I just want to start by saying hot d—! I love you guys.” Despite a 27% drop in Tesla shares this year due to declining sales and increased competition in China, Musk urged investors to focus on the future potential of autonomous driving, robots, and artificial intelligence.

One of his most startling claims was that Tesla had outperformed Nvidia in inference, a crucial step in creating machine learning models thanks to breakthroughs in silicon. The demand for Nvidia’s AI chips has caused its shares to soar about nine times since the end of 2022; the company is currently valued at approximately $3.2 trillion.

With all his other endeavors, like SpaceX, Neuralink, The Boring firm, and social media firm X, worries about Musk’s concentration on Tesla remain. In addition, he established xAI, which secured $6 billion in venture capital. When a shareholder asked about his significance to Tesla’s future, Musk responded, “I’m a helpful accelerant to that future,” highlighting his critical role in innovation.

Musk admitted that businesses like Boston Dynamics, Agility, Neura, and Apptronik were competitors in the humanoid robot sector. He said, “What matters is if we can be much faster than everyone else and our product can be made a few years before theirs and be better.”

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