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Another wild year for Tesla. It controls nearly two-thirds of the electric vehicle market in the United States. Hertz, a car rental firm, has revealed ambitions to purchase 100,000 Tesla vehicles. CEO Elon Musk is now the wealthiest person in the planet, thanks to the company's stock price growth. He's also enjoying in the light of being named Time's "Person of the Year" as 2021 draws to a close.
Musk won the coveted distinction after a year that saw his electric vehicle company become the world's most valuable automaker and his rocket company soar with an all-civilian crew. This year, Musk, who also runs Neuralink, a brain-chip startup, and The Boring Company, an infrastructure company, experienced some incredible growth and inventions. This year, Tesla's market worth rose to more than $1 trillion, making him the world's richest man. SpaceX was also chosen by NASA in April as one of the space businesses to develop lunar landing devices that might transport men to the moon by 2024. Musk even appeared on Saturday Night Live, where he made the obligatory Dogecoin jokes.
Musk's interplanetary settlement ideas are still alive and well with Starship, and he is now portraying his aim of reaching Mars as a solution to some of Earth's challenges, including as global warming. Since SpaceX's inception over two decades ago, Musk has been laser-focused on Mars.
In the interview with Time, Musk said:
"The goal overall has been to make life multiplanetary and enable humanity to become a spacefaring civilization. The next really big thing is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring the animals and creatures of Earth there, sort of like a futuristic Noah's ark. We’ll bring more than two, though — it's a little weird if there’s only two."
Musk also mentions other possible dates for his numerous long-term space projects, including a trip around the moon "perhaps as soon as 2023." He also stated that if SpaceX does not achieve a human Mars landing in five years, he will be "surprised."
Time Magazine’s editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal said about Elon Musk receiving the award: “For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society’s most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year.”
Felsenthal wrote in Time’s profile of Musk: “Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.”
Elon Musk accepting his Time award with his youngest son in New York City
Tesla's revenue still comes from the automotive industry, and the company's energy division has long taken a back place to the hurdles of manufacturing and delivering cars. Earlier this year it was revealed that Tesla was building a large battery facility south of Houston. Tesla doesn't say much about the energy sector, but the Megapack is a product worth watching. Growing the Megapack business would rely in part on battery cells – will Tesla be able to get enough from its current suppliers? Is there a storage application for Tesla's 4680 battery cells, which the company is attempting to manufacture in-house?
For a long time, Tesla has been the undisputed leader in the field of electric vehicles. However, a slew of former Tesla execs who worked on the Model 3's introduction have joined Rivian, which has Amazon's backing. Tesla should keep a close eye on the new electric truck market and get the Cybertruck out next year.