Tesla’s stock price (TLSA) shot up more than 5% this morning, pushing the company’s valuation over the $100 billion mark for the first time. According to Reuters, Tesla is now the first publicly listed American auto maker to hit the $100 billion mark. The stock has been steadily rising for the last six months, reaching a high of $572.20 per share. Just five months ago, the same stock was worth $211.20.

The gains are a sign that Wall Street investors believe in Tesla’s vision of an all-electric future. Indeed, plenty of traditional automakers are also pulling the plug on some of their gas-powered models in favor of electric alternatives.

With their new $100B market capitalization, Tesla has snuck by Volkswagen as the second-most valuable car company in the world. They were already the most valuable American car company. The rise in stock price is great for any Tesla investor, but it’s especially valuable to CEO Elon Musk. Crossing the $100B mark sets off a series of compensation bonuses for the charismatic Tesla founder.

Musk’s Payday

Musk doesn’t receive a typical salary from Tesla. However, he was granted a lucrative stock compensation plan from shareholders back in 2018. For every $50 billion of market capitalization that the company hits (up to $650B), Musk receives a massive number of Tesla shares. The reward for hitting $100B is 1.69 million shares, which is worth roughly $1 billion at today’s stock prices. If Tesla eventually reaches all 12 milestones and gets to $650 billion valuation, Musk would then own about 30% of the entire company. His shares would also be worth $195 billion. Incidentally, that would make him the richest person on the planet.

There is one small detail left before Musk can cash in on his compensation. The $100 billion valuation needs to remain for at least one month, and also for a six-month average, before it kicks in. So a sudden drop in Tesla stock would prevent Musk from cashing in. However, all signs currently point to Tesla continuing to rise as the electric car revolution kicks into high gear.

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Devon is a veteran of the online publishing world, having written about everything from cars to movies, sports to parenting. Although he drives a minivan (#DadLife), he's especially fond of classic muscle cars.