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Tesla is ‘more than a car company but at the nexus of shared, autonomous and electric transportation’, says investors

Over the past few months, Tesla’s valuation surged past Ford and GM and it surged again to new highs over the past two days.

Morgan Stanley explained in a new note today that investors are now not only looking at Tesla as a simple automaker but as a tech company “at the nexus of shared, autonomous and electric transportation.”

Analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to clients today after talking to investors:

“A far larger portion of investors we speak with now understand that Tesla is ‘more than a car company’ but at the nexus of shared, autonomous and electric transportation. We have long viewed Tesla’s stock as a call option on disrupting a $10tn global market for mobility rather than an equity exposed to a $1.5tn traditional light vehicle market. We believe the market is increasingly coming around to the idea of giving Tesla a low chance of success in a far larger addressable market (transport network, data, time) rather than a high chance of success in a smaller addressable market (cars/machines). The market’s appreciation of applied AI in real world driving scenarios/transportation has evolved significantly over the past 12 months and Tesla is part of a much broader discussion at all levels. In our experience, one cannot have a conversation about machine learning and the multi-trillion-$ transport market without talking about the role of Amazon, Alphabet (both covered by Brian Nowak), Apple (covered by Katy Huberty) or Tesla. Tesla is a part of this very important discussion. There is little doubt that Tesla has a seat at the table for this discussion – yet is valued at 1/10th the market cap of Amazon, 1/13th the market cap of Alphabet and 1/15th the market cap of Apple.”

It’s important to note here that Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas is still only talking about mobility and not even accounting for Tesla’s energy business.

As we previously reported, Tesla is trying to own the entire energy process from generation to consumption. It wants its customers to not only buy its vehicles, but to also power them with energy generated through its own products (solar arrays), stored in its Powerpacks and Powerwalls, and charged through its level 2 chargers and Superchargers.

Therefore, if you want to make a comparison, it’s closer to an automaker who also owns an oil company and everything in between, like the refineries and gas stations.

In the context that the entire automotive industry is moving from internal combustion engines to electric motors, it’s a very strategic position to take.

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article mistakenly suggested that Tesla’s valuation also surpassed BMW’s.

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