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Why Tesla’s stock rises, despite ‘nutcase’ Elon Musk

Tesla's (TSLA)​​ stock seems to have no trouble shaking off the litany of controversies surrounding the electric car-maker. At the same time, several of the company’s smaller rivals are also drawing scrutiny from regulators.

Tom Rand, author of the book Climate Capitalism, says the high-flying valuations of some of these stocks partially reflects their potential to “underwrite a shift in our electrical grid,” as EV adoption turns driveways into new places to store energy.

“That’s a very different role for a car company to play in the energy environment,” he told Yahoo Finance Canada’s Editor’s Edition. “If the car plays a different role inside our energy lives, then things are going to get really interesting.”

Tesla’s latest controversies involve an investigation by the New York Times alleging the company acted recklessly in its deployment of auto pilot technology. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is separately investigating a whistleblower claim that Tesla hid fire risks associated with its solar panels.

“Tesla is run by Elon Musk, who, brilliant as he is, is erratic and a bit of a nutcase. He’s a love-hate kind of guy. And he’s getting more erratic as he gets older,” Rand said. “The company reflects that culture.”

Got a question for Tom Rand? Email Jeff.Lagerquist@yahoofinance.com and let him know what interests you in the world of clean energy and technology.

Jeff Lagerquist is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow him on Twitter @jefflagerquist.

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