New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday toppled Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos to become the richest person on the planet. Musk was worth USD 188.5 billion at 10:15 am (New York time), approximately USD 1.5 billion more than Bezos, Bloomberg reported. 

In the past 12 months, Musk's wealth has increased by USD 150 billion --  an unprecedented rise in the modern history -- due to a many-fold increase in Tesla's share price. The company sold half-a-million cars in 2020 -- a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic and economic distress. It ranked as the world's best-selling plug in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer in both 2019 and 2020.

At the beginning of 2020, Musk's wealth was approximately USD 30 billion. Over the next 12 months, Tesla's stocks exploded by over 1200 per cent and the company was made eligible for inclusion in the S&P 500. Musk ownes a roughly 20 per cent stake in Tesla and the company's exponential rise in stocks surged the CEO's wealth at a rate not witnessed in the recent history.

The billionaire toppled Bill Gates to become the second-richest person in November 2020, and then inched closer to musk over the next weeks. In an interview to Axel Springer last month, Musk had said that his main purpose of wealth creation is to accelerate humanity's evolution into a spacefaring civilisation. "I want to be able to contribute as much as possible to the city on Mars. That means just a lot of capital."

As a founder-CEO of Space X, Musk is a rival of Bezos in the private space race. Bezos' wealth too increased by over 70 billion in a year marked by the pandemic due to the increased reliance on amazon services amid restrictions imposed to curb the virus. 

Posted By: Lakshay Raja