Tesla CEO Elon Musk Lost $779 million, and a Rocket Carrying Facebook’s Satellite

September 1 was a bad day for Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk. His SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launchpad just days before it was set to carry a payload that included Facebook’s $95 million satellite. But that was just the first part of the day.

Musk’s investments in Tesla as well as SolarCity cost him much more than that – to the tune of $779 million because of regulatory filings that led to a 4% drop in Tesla stock and a 9% dip in SolarCity stock. The two companies are set to merge soon and investors are panicking because the financial position of the companies are unsafe, to say the least.

So it was a bad day for Musk, but he’s not one to sit and moan about days like this one. I’m fairly certain he’s had worse days considering that he and his company Tesla Motors have taken on the challenge to bring electric vehicle (EV) technology into the mainstream market. Until Tesla came along with the Roadster, and then Model S and Model X, EVs were considered toys that only rich people and tree-huggers bought.

Of course, Tesla isn’t the inventor of electric cars. Did you know that the world’s first automobile was, in fact, electric? But because of issues with range, speed and cost, the public chose to go with Henry Ford’s smellier but faster and cheaper internal combustion engine cars. Today there is a wide selection of electric cars to choose from, but the problem of range and cost still persist.

One of the World’s First Electric Cars (if not the first)

Tesla is trying to change that with each successive model. Starting at the high end of the market, Musk is slowing approaching costs that the general public can afford. The Model 3 is not that car, but soon Tesla will have cars with superior range selling for under $30,000. It’s the battery technology that needs to be developed, and Tesla has to walk the fine line between innovation and profitability.

To Tesla’s credit, they’ve already created a car with one of the quickest accelerations in the world, the Tesla Model S P100D, which can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a blurry 2.5 seconds.

Tesla Announces Model S P100D, 0-60mph in 2.5 Seconds, 315-mile Range

The recent troubles around the SolarCity merger with Tesla is putting the latter under tremendous financial pressure. But I am of the opinion that Tesla has enough supporters in the form of customers as well as investors to keep the company going.

This is an innovative company that is trying to break the spell that internal combustion engines have over our lives, and it’s not going to be an easy task to demolish a century-old institution. The company has even inspired traditional car makers to go the EV way. So much so that well-known luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes are toeing the line and introducing advanced EVs for now and the future.

So Musk had a bad day. So what? That’s the life of a game-changing entrepreneur, isn’t it?

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