By Ian McConnell

IT is “absolutely right both in economic and moral terms” to back what Tesla chief Elon Musk is doing, a major investor in the pioneering Californian electric vehicle, energy storage systems and solar power company has said.

James Anderson, joint manager of the £10 billion Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust, observed Tesla had been the biggest contributor to the fund’s performance in the year to March 31 as he underlined the speed at which the global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is occurring.

Mr Musk, who is also the founder of the SpaceX venture behind last weekend’s rocket launch from Florida and has a high profile on social media, hit the headlines when he tweeted on May 1: “Tesla stock price is too high imo (in my opinion).”

He also tweeted: “I am selling almost all physical possessions...”

Asked for his view on these comments, in an interview with The Herald this week, Mr Anderson said: “I think that I have to accept that for someone to attain the sort of task that he is doing, not just in one company but in multiple companies – we are shareholders in SpaceX as well – I think that to do those sort of tasks you need to be a very unusual type of personality, with extraordinary determination, extraordinary brilliance. You and I would probably not be offended if I said we would not be able to land a rocket on [a] boat. I think you get, with that, some aspects that are…unusual in a less palatable direction.”

He said Scottish Mortgage in terms of its position and society as a whole had to consider both of those aspects in looking at the net benefit.

While noting he was not saying there were not lots of things he might disagree with, or might cause angst, Mr Anderson added: “[It is] absolutely right both in economic and moral terms to back what he is doing.”

Mr Musk has flagged Tesla’s mission to help reduce the risk of “catastrophic climate change”.