Tesla boss Elon Musk becomes world's richest person, thanks to share jump

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Tesla founder Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, after a surge in shares of his electric car company put the 49-year-old’s net worth over $186 billion.

The share price was buoyed after the US Democrats won control of the Senate, making Joe Biden’s incoming administration’s green agenda more of a surety.

According to the Bloomberg billionaires index, the 4.8 percent rise in Tesla’s share price makes Musk $1.5bn wealthier than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

The company is more valuable than the world's most profitable carmakers combined.

Responding to the news on Twitter, Musk – who also founded the aerospace venture SpaceX – wrote "how strange”, followed by a post that said “well, back to work”.

In an older tweet, Musk said: ”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.”

Bezos had held the mantle as the world’s richest person since October 2017.