A MAJOR investor in US electric and driverless vehicle pioneer Tesla has flagged “frustrations” with the US group and its chief executive Elon Musk but emphasised “deep support” for the company and confidence in the potential of its technology.

James Anderson, who manages the £8 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust from Edinburgh, said: “I would put it that we are supportive but we are not denying in any sense there are frustrations. We are in active conversations with them about some of the frustrations.”

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Scottish Mortgage is a significant investor in Tesla, which was co-founded and is run by high-profile technology entrepreneur Elon Musk. The investment trust’s £428 million stake in Tesla accounted for 5.3% of Scottish Mortgage’s total assets at March 31.

Mr Anderson said: “The underlying opportunity, in terms of the length and breadth of the competitive advantage relative to the industry…we have got more confident about. We have got considerably more confident about…the whole direction of cost for battery-driven cars. [It] is improving quicker and more dramatically and arguably should be more consistent than we considered originally.”

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However, he declared that Scottish Mortgage found it a “very odd decision” by Tesla to “raise capital recently when they haven’t done it at a higher [share] price before”.

And, noting Mr Musk’s recent pledge to deliver one million fully autonomous robocars by 2020, Mr Anderson added: “We are frustrated by Mr Musk’s continued giving of short-term targets.”

He warned that the setting of short-term targets could leave Tesla a “hostage to fortune”.

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His message to Mr Musk is: “Just keep enjoying you are ahead and working on it, rather than saying it will be by x date and…this amount.”