After another year of broken records, Twitter controversies, and Full Self Driving debates, Elon Musk has been crowned Time Magazine Person of the Year.
The iconic rag declares a Person of the Year annually, giving a nod to those who have had the greatest influence on the world around them … mostly for better, and sometimes for worse. Past POTYs include Jeff Bezos, both George W Bushs, Barrack Obama, Donald Trump, and Greta Thunberg.
Musk’s 2021 built on the financial surge Tesla experienced in 2020, seeing Musk’s wealth continue to climb enormously. Musk continues to be ranked as the richest person on the planet, having overtaken the aforementioned Bezos and Bill Gates.
In the midst of a federal investigation into AutoPilot, more vehicle release delays, and continued allegations of toxicity at Tesla’s factories, Musk’s electric car company has had a strong year of growth and deliveries, with over 230,000 vehicles delivered between January and the end of October.
New Zealand has played a part in this success, too, with the Tesla Model 3 established as the undisputed most popular electric vehicle on sale locally … even claiming the title of most popular passenger car in the country in September, when it was beaten only by the Ford Ranger in the registration charts.
“This is the man who aspires to save our planet and get us a new one to inhabit: clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, cad; a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan, the brooding, blue-skinned man-god who invents electric cars and moves to Mars,” says Time Magazine.
“He’s a player in robots and solar, cryptocurrency and climate, brain-computer implants to stave off the menace of artificial intelligence and underground tunnels to move people and freight at super speeds. He dominates Wall Street”
“Few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too,” added Time editor in chief Edward Felsenthal. “In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.”