Quoted from Friengineer:
TSLA isn't a car company. It's a data company. Think about all the data they have. Every driver, every minute, every day. They are light years ahead of the big car companies in terms of fully autonomous cars.
Tesla is a technology company, but the valuation isn't because of the data. What Telsa has in terms of data is hardly a fraction of what Google acquires daily from Maps, Waze, searching and advertising. If in the future Telsa was the only car manufacturer left in the world, it still wouldn't have a fraction of the data Google has today, yet Telsa has already reached 40% of Google's valuation.
From a battery perspective, even if Telsa was the only Li-Ion battery company in the world, it's already valued at a multiple of all those, combined. They have Solar too but it's losing money and requires a ton of R&D to get that technology turned up. If they licensed their autonomous software to all other car manufacturers, there still isn't quite the money there for this valuation either.
That's the long way of saying, Tesla has a lot going for it, but is data, batteries, software, cars, and solar enough to be a $400B company, even forward looking? The good news is that Google, Amazon, and Apple took their massive investments to diversify and justify the advanced valuations. For Tesla with Musk at its helm, it could certainly get there at some point, I mean he is out-competing NASA in his spare time. But even with all that today's valuation feels a bit too extended to me. To me SpaceX is more of a game changer, but that's Musk's longer term play. Interesting times for sure.