Elon Musk has been the richest person in the world, with a net worth of over $185 billion (£136 billion).
Tesla and SpaceX were moved into the top spot after Tesla’s share price soared on Thursday.
He takes the top spot of Amazon creator Jeff Bezos, who has been holding it since 2017.
Mr. Musk’s electric vehicle firm Tesla has risen in popularity this year, reaching a market value of $700 billion (£516 billion) for the first time on Wednesday.
This makes a car company worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined.
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Mr. Musk responded to the signature-style news, referring to a Twitter user who posted the news with a “how strange” comment.
An older tweet pinned to the top of his feed gave more insight into his views on personal resources.
“About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth, and half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens and we destroy ourselves,” he says.
The tycoon’s fortunes have been buoyed by politics in the US, where the Democrats will have control of the US Senate in the coming session.
Daniel Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, wrote: “A Blue Senate is very bullish and a potential ‘game changer’ for Tesla and the overall electric vehicle sector, with a more green-driven agenda now certainly in the cards for the next few years.”
Planned electric vehicle tax credits will benefit Tesla, “which continues to have an iron grip on the market today” he said.
Mr. Bezos has also seen his fortunes grow over the last year. The coronavirus pandemic has ensured that Amazon has benefited from increased demand for both its web shop and cloud storage services.
However, after breaking up, he gave his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott a 4 per cent share in the firm, which helped Mr. Musk conquer him.
Moreover, the possibility of enforcement meant that Amazon’s stock had not grown as big as it might otherwise have been.
The owner of a company that has only just made its first annual profit and is only a minnow relative to Toyota-or Amazon-is now the richest person in the world.
It is the fact that Tesla’s share price has risen more than seven-fold in the last year, which has sent Elon Musk’s wealth past Jeff Bezos’s.
The perfect example of irrational exuberance is to assume that the value of the electric car-maker will grow too fast in just 12 months.
This means that in the next five years, Musk would have to prove that Tesla will make more money than just the rest of the auto industry combined to support the valuation.
Mind you, his many supporters would find out that the very erratic tycoon has constantly puzzled the sceptics who are betting he’s going to go bust.
And, of course, 20 years ago, another tech genius looked at the tragedy in his face as the dot com bubble exploded and the huge gains appeared a distant dream—but Jeff Bezos went on to make those who were betting on Amazon very rich indeed.