Searching the internet for Tesla and/or EV-related content likely brings you to many comparisons between Tesla's vehicles and other electric cars and SUVs. We cover this type of content all the time. However, in the grand scheme of things, Tesla is really competing with petrol-powered cars, and a recent tweet by CEO Elon Musk paints a clearer picture of the much larger overall rival.
Teslarati points out that Tesla is also seemingly competing with legacy automakers. Over the years, most early automotive startups have failed to succeed, and most of today's automotive startups are EV makers. Tesla and Ford are the only two US automakers that haven't ever filed for bankruptcy, though Musk says Tesla was very close to dying for a time.
It may seem to some folks that there are plenty of people, companies, corporations, organisations, and even political movements working against Tesla. However, Musk pins it all down to just one, which he aims to beat: Saudi Aramco.
As you can see, Musk would like to one day see Tesla's market cap surpass that of Saudi Aramco. Saudi Aramco is a fossil fuel company with a massive market cap. It makes sense that Musk wouldn't be concerned with rival EVs, and even that he'd encourage their success. In fact, the more automakers push for electric cars and bring compelling options to market, the more it threatens Aramco's market cap.
According to Teslarati, Saudi Aramco's market cap is currently at around $2.431 trillion. Meanwhile, Tesla has the largest market cap among global automakers. It wasn't long ago that the company's worth climbed past $1 trillion. Currently, it sits around $800 billion.
Keep in mind that Tesla also has other ways to compete with the world's most successful oil and gas companies. It also makes solar panels, solar roofs, residential energy storage batteries (Tesla Powerwall), and commercial energy storage systems (Tesla Powerpack).
Musk has also made it clear over the years that he's against subsidies, though Tesla did benefit from subsidies and government loans early on, which the company quickly paid back and is no longer eligible for. Musk notes that if there are going to be subsidies and government assistance, it needs to be a level playing field. If it were up to Musk (and many EV and clean energy advocates), the government would stop subsidising oil.