Elon Musk's mouth has cost him a pretty penny after he told the press that he thinks his electric car company is a tad overvalued at the moment.
"I think our stock price is kind of high right now," Musk told CNBC. "If you care about the long term, Tesla, I think the stock is a good price. If you look at the short term, it is less clear."
Stock markets being what they are people took note and promptly started selling, dropping the share price nearly five per cent – which will have cost Musk millions of dollars considering the size of his stake in the firm. Then again, the SpaceX biz baron is worth a few billion so he isn't about to start coupon clipping any time soon.
Still, he does have a point. When Tesla debuted on the stock market in 2010, the price per share was $17. Today it stands at $276, even after the latest bout of selling. Over the past year the value of the firm's stock has risen over 90 per cent, and it's increasingly seen as a blue-chip investment by some analysts in the technology sector.
Musk was speaking at a press event in Carson City, Nevada, which will be the home of Tesla's new "gigafactory". The plant will make batteries for the firm's vehicles with the help of technology from Panasonic.
Tesla said the new factory will be producing 50GWh of batteries per year by 2020, enough for 500,000 Tesla vehicles. The assembly line is key to Musk's planned Tesla III car, due out in 2017, which will be billed as an economy car and available for $35,000 – half the price of the Tesla S.
The factory will also be a "net zero energy" facility, Tesla has promised. The roof will be covered with solar panels and it will take all its power from renewable energy sources, the company claims, and will employ more than 6,000 staff from the area.
"This is great news for Nevada. Tesla will build the world's largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years," said the state's governor, Brian Sandoval.
"I am grateful that Elon Musk and Tesla saw the promise in Nevada. These 21st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire, are emboldened by the promise of Nevada to change the world. Nevada is ready to lead."
Nevada is ready to pay, however. To entice Tesla, the state agreed a $1.25bn corporate welfare deal whereby the company will pay no sales taxes for 20 years, no property or payroll taxes for 10 years, and will get discounted energy supplies from Nevada for the next eight years.
There are also a bundle of tax breaks and the state has agreed to foot the bill for road improvements around the site of the factory. Musk may be mouthy, but no one ever said he was stupid. ®