Elon Musk claims Optimus robots could make Tesla a $25 trillion company — more than half the value of the S&P 500 today

The S&P 500’s total value currently stands at $45.5 trillion, according to FactSet. On Thursday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed that his company’s Optimus humanoid robots could eventually push Tesla’s worth to more than half of that amount.

At the 2024 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas, Musk described himself as “pathologically optimistic” and said Tesla is not only beginning a “new chapter” but is about to write an entirely “new book.” The Optimus robots appear to be central to this vision.

Tesla first announced its humanoid robot plans in 2021 during an AI Day event, featuring a dancer in a unitard resembling a sleek, androgynous robot.

In January, Tesla showcased Optimus robots folding laundry in a demo video, which was criticized by robotics engineers as deceptive since the robots were not autonomous but operated by humans.

At the shareholder event, Musk did not specify current capabilities of Optimus but suggested that in the future, they could perform tasks like cooking, cleaning, factory work, or even teaching children, akin to R2-D2 and C-3PO from “Star Wars.” He claimed Optimus could potentially elevate Tesla’s market cap to $25 trillion.

Speaking to an enthusiastic audience at the Gigafactory, Musk promised “limited production” of Optimus in 2025 and plans to test the robots in Tesla’s factories next year, predicting the company would have “over 1,000, or a few thousand” robots working by 2025.

Musk is known for ambitious promises that often do not materialize, such as software upgrades to make existing Teslas self-driving or EV battery swapping stations.

Achieving a $25 trillion market cap would make Tesla worth about eight times Apple’s current value. Apple is the world’s largest company by market cap, just ahead of Microsoft.

As of Thursday’s close, Tesla was valued at about $580 billion, making it the 10th most valuable company in the S&P 500. Musk did not provide a timeline for reaching $25 trillion but suggested autonomous vehicles could increase the company’s market cap to $5 trillion to $7 trillion.

He aligned with Tesla bull Cathie Wood, CEO of Ark Invest, who this week set a $2,600 price target on Tesla’s stock by 2029, predicting a commercial robotaxi business, equating to a market cap of over $8 trillion.

Musk’s comments followed the shareholder vote to reinstate his $56 billion pay plan, which a Delaware court had ordered to rescind. The crowd cheered the proposal and the preliminary results.

Taking the stage after the vote, Musk said, “I just want to start off by saying hot d—! I love you guys.”

Tesla shares have fallen 27% this year, attributed to a sales decline partly due to an aging lineup and increased competition in China. The company has also faced significant layoffs. Musk urged investors to focus on Tesla’s future in autonomous driving, robots, and AI.

One bold claim Musk made was that Tesla had surpassed Nvidia in developing silicon for machine learning inference. Nvidia’s shares have surged nearly ninefold since the end of 2022, driven by AI chip demand, making the company worth about $3.2 trillion.

Concerns persist about Musk’s focus on Tesla given his other ventures, including X (formerly Twitter), SpaceX, The Boring Co., Neuralink, and his new startup, xAI, which recently raised $6 billion in venture funding.

When asked about his importance to Tesla’s future, Musk said he is a “helpful accelerant,” emphasizing his role in innovation. He acknowledged competition in the humanoid robot market from companies like Boston Dynamics, Agility, Neura, and Apptronik, stressing the importance of Tesla being faster and better.

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