Tesla Stock: Are We Headed for a Trump-Musk Throwdown?

Donald Trump teslaWill Trump Hurt Tesla Stock in 2017? 

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is up nearly three percent on Monday as 2016 nears its end. What has otherwise been a year of generally good news for the green tech company hasn’t exactly been fantastic for Tesla stock; it’s down 22% since the beginning of the year and it fell seven percent last week.

To make matters worse, Jacob Bayer, CEO of energy consulting firm Luminext Incorporated, believes that President-elect Donald Trump and tech luminary Elon Musk are bound to butt heads in the next four years.

Bayer describes it as a battle between “[i]ntelligence and ignorance” in an opinion piece for The Hill. For him, no matter how muted Musk remained during the campaign, and no matter how many other rhetorical wars Trump plans to wage, the two men’s drastically divergent worldviews on the environment will lead to “strong language, criticism and maybe even a power struggle in the upcoming years.” (Source: “The looming energy battle between Elon Musk and Donald Trump,” The Hill, December 5, 2016.)

Bayer also took aim at the many web sites arrayed against Tesla and Elon Musk, which some have equated to fake news and Internet trolling. Bayer would count himself among that number.

“As chief executive officer of an energy consultancy and someone who has worked in the energy sector for a decent portion of my life,” he wrote, “it was hard for me to read those concoctions aimed to brainwash our less informed fellow men and women.”

With all the uncertainty surrounding the President-elect’s true stance on climate change, the details of the policies he plans to enact, and just how the Trump-Musk dynamic will play out over the coming years, Bayer remains hopeful that Trump will gain new insight, having ascended to the highest office in the land, but he remains unsure.

One question then follows: What will this potential conflict mean for Tesla stock?

Going head-to-head against the presidency hardly seems to be a strong business decision for Tesla stock, especially when the company plans to use green tech incentives to help boost sales. This helps explain why, even during the election, Musk remained reticent about who he supported for president.

But now that the votes are in (and laws are to follow) how the Trump-Musk saga plays out will likely have a strong effect on Tesla stock from 2017 on. How the relationship between the two develops is certainly worth watching.