Tesla’s energy business gets put off to the side due to the overwhelming success of the company’s automotive side. While the growth of Tesla’s automotive sector has influenced an over 700% boost in the stock price over the last year, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya says that when the company’s energy business takes off, the market capitalization will double or even triple due to demand.
“I think that the reality is that Tesla is a distributed energy business,” Palihapitiya said to CNBC. “They are figuring out how to harness energy, how to store it, and how to use it in a way to allow humans to be productive. Cars are a manifestation, but solar panels are as well, Powerwalls are as well. I’m telling you right now…the big disruption that’s coming is to power utilities.”
Tesla has established itself as a main player in the alternative energy business over the past few years. While the company is most known for its vehicles, which are the most popular battery-powered cars globally, the energy sector gets little recognition from investment firms. However, investors are well aware of the impact the company has on the solar energy and energy storage market.
In Q3 2020, Tesla saw a 111% increase in solar, with 57 MW being deployed compared to only 27 in Q2 2020. Additionally, energy storage also increased by 81%, from 419 MWh in Q2 2020 to 759 MWh in Q3, the company disclosed in its Q3 Update Letter.
Tesla has also been able to cut the cost of its solar panels, making them one-third as expensive as the national average. The company has been able to make its solar program more affordable by cutting soft costs, like doing away with salespeople.
Palihapitiya, a long-time TSLA investor, is keen on the idea of the energy business taking off within the next few years. Growing support for alternative energy has set Tesla up for a huge future, especially considering their solar panels and energy storage options are more affordable than competitor options.
“There are trillions of dollars of bonds, of capex, of value sitting inside the energy generation infrastructure of the world, that is going to go upside down. When that goes pear-shaped, Tesla will double and triple again,” Palihapitiya added.
Palihapitiya was brought on to talk about several topics, but his long-time friend Elon Musk’s new title as “World’s Richest Person” also came up, and he shared his support for the Tesla CEO. “The world’s richest person should be somebody that’s fighting climate change.”
Palihapitiya’s full interview with CNBC is available below.