Musk Reads: Tesla to join S&P 500

Musk becomes the third-richest person and automakers push for EVs-only by 2030. New Tesla software incoming?

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Musk becomes the third-richest person and automakers push for EVs-only by 2030. New Tesla software incoming? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #220.

Sandy Munro is famed for his legendary Tesla teardowns. Coming soon, he speaks with Musk Reads+ about his newfound fan base, his chats with Musk himself, and how Tesla has upped its game in production quality. Don’t miss out.

A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk quote of the week

“Tesla holiday software release is 🔥🔥 […] So many things you want & some you didn’t know you wanted.”


It was announced Tuesday that Tesla has been selected to join the S&P 500 group of companies. The move, expected to be made final in December, sent Tesla’s stock soaring to new highs of $458 at the time of writing. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows that Musk now ranks as the world’s third-richest person, with Jeff Bezos in first and Bill Gates in second. His net worth has surged $82 billion this year to reach $110 billion. The Guardian notes that while Musk has signed Gates’ Giving Pledge to give at least half his wealth to charity, the Musk Foundation has only given away less than $100 million so far.

What does it mean for Tesla? MarketWatch notes that its stock will now be added automatically to a number of index tracking funds. Bloomberg Quint warns that joining the index doesn’t guarantee future success, as seen with Yahoo in 1999, and Tesla will have to justify its high stock price to maintain its trajectory.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to roll out updates to the ongoing full self-driving beta “every five to 10 days.”

In other Tesla news…

  • Peter Rawlinson, the former chief engineer on the Tesla Model S, said this week that his new company, Lucid Motors, is not competing with Tesla. Rawlinson instead claimed the Air, launching in spring 2021, will be the “world’s first true luxury electric car.” Read more.
  • Rivian has unveiled more pricing and specs for its R1T truck and R1S SUV. The R1T will start shipping in June 2021, with the $67,500 model shipping in January 2022. The R1S will arrive in August 2021, with a $70,000 edition in January 2022. Read more.
  • Electrek reports that Tesla, Lucid, Rivian, and others have formed a group called “ZETA,” which pushes for 100 percent electric car sales by 2030.
  • Looking for more Teslaquila? “Hopefully” there will be more next month, Musk announced.

Musk Reads mailroom

Craig Edgecumbe writes:

I reserved a Roadster with my $5K wire transfer in May, 2020. But when delivery on the Roadsters was postponed until 2022, I asked for my refundable deposit back. I have been trying for months now to get the $5K refunded but each request forwards me to a different Tel. number or email. Please give me a little help here; I am enjoying my current Model 3, but this is giving me a little heartburn.

You’re not the first person to face problems. Fans on Tesla’s official forums, Tesla Motors Club, and other places have reported issues with getting the deposit back.

It should be noted that Tesla’s website asks for a credit card for the first $5,000 rather than a wire transfer. You may want to check with your credit card company to see if it can help. Failing that, and with all other options exhausted, it could be worth using social media to draw Musk’s attention to the issue.

Martha Cisneros writes:

I am concerned about Mr. Musk testing positive for Covid 19. I know he is constantly working in one project after another, he seems to be always super busy. I also know that he is a workaholic, I wonder if he’ll take time off to isolate himself to not infect anyone else and to recuperate from this virus infection. He could get really sick and if he does not take care of himself, he can even die. Some will need to push him to rest, stay isolated and comply with doctors orders.

Hopefully he takes the necessary precautions to keep himself and others safe!

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to

Photo of the week

Soichi Noguchi strikes a pose as SpaceX’s “Crew–1” astronauts step out of their NASA-branded Tesla Model X.

Crew-1 steps out of their Tesla.


Got a photo or video you’d like to see featured? Send it over to!

The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #220, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

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