Musk says robots could make Tesla $25 trillion company — more than half value of S&P 500

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

Musk, who characterized himself as “pathologically optimistic” at the 2024 annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas, said Tesla is embarking on not just a “new chapter” in its life, but is about to write an entirely “new book.” Optimus appears to be one of the main characters.

Tesla first revealed its plans to work on humanoid robots in 2021 at an AI Day event, trotting out a dancer in a unitard that looked like a sleek, androgynous robot.

In January, Tesla showed off Optimus robots folding laundry in a demo video that was immediately criticized by robotics engineers for being deceptive. The robots were not autonomous, but were rather being operated with humans at the controls.

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At the shareholder event on Thursday, Musk didn’t divulge exactly what Optimus can do today. He suggested the robots some day will perform like R2-D2 and C-3PO in Star Wars. They could cook or clean for you, do factory work, or even teach your children, Musk suggested.

As for shareholder value, Musk said Optimus could be the catalyst for lifting Tesla’s market cap to $25 trillion someday.

Speaking to a crowd consisting mostly of fawning fanboys in an auditorium at the Gigafactory, Musk promised Tesla would move into “limited production” of Optimus in 2025 and test out humanoid robots in its own factories next year.

The company, he predicted, will have “over 1,000, or a few thousand, Optimus robots working at Tesla” in 2025.

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This is all far-out stuff even for Musk, who is notorious for making ambitious promises to investors and customers that don’t pan out — from developing software that can turn an existing Tesla into a self-driving vehicle with an upload, to EV battery swapping stations.

Getting to a $25 trillion market cap would mean that Tesla would be worth about eight times Apple’s value today. The iPhone maker is currently the world’s biggest company by market cap, just ahead of Microsoft.

At Thursday’s close, Tesla was valued at about $580 billion, making it the 10th most valuable company in the S&P 500.

Musk didn’t provide a timeframe for reaching $25 trillion. He did say that autonomous vehicles could get the company to a market cap of $5 trillion to $7 trillion.

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