Biggest Tesla Bull on Wall Street Thinks Elon Musk Will Take on Uber

When it comes to Tesla Motor Inc., Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas is one of the biggest bulls on Wall Street, and he keeps finding new reasons to love the car manufacturer.

On Monday, he said he drew fresh inspiration from a recent interview with Uber’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Mr. Kalanick’s predictions for the future of transportation, Mr. Jonas wrote, gave him even more conviction about his bullish take for Tesla.

In response to a question from Mr. Colbert on autonomous cars, Mr. Jonas writes: “We found Travis’ answer to be as simple and elegant we’ve ever heard describing our expected transformation in what cars can do and how we use them.”

This is what Mr. Kalanick had to say:

Look. Google’s doing the driverless thing. Tesla’s doing the driverless thing. Apple’s doing the driverless thing. This is gonna be the world. so the question for a tech company is: Do you want to be part of the future, or do you want to resist the future?

Mr. Jonas says that he believes Tesla will lead the way with a “shared mobility service” that combines driverless cars with an Uber-like taxi fleet. It’s more likely to compete with Uber than partner with it, he says.

Still, he said that Mr. Kalanick’s explanation of what transportation will look like in the future inspired him to see even more potential in Tesla–and he sees a lot. Mr. Jonas said he expects both Tesla and Uber to embrace the future and, in turn, he expects their current business models to evolve.

He reiterated his $465 price target on Tesla, the highest of the analysts who follow the company, and 75% above Tesla’s closing price Friday. Tesla shares were up recently up 2.1% to $266.05 Monday.

What Tesla CEO Elon Musk has mastered now is a “high-tech, software-driven, electrically-driven car with impressive levels of vertical integration,” Mr. Jonas wrote. Uber, meanwhile, has mastered how to connect cars with consumers who need mobility, and in doing so has managed to address “the greatest inefficiency of the auto model,” which is that most cars sit idle for most of the day, he said.

Mr. Jonas predicts that Tesla will probably find its way into the market for car sharing. Alternatively, ride-sharing firms like Uber will likely move into car development and fleet management, he said.

While Tesla’s shares have been on a rollercoaster ride for much of the past two years, Tesla’s stock is up 13% from recent lows hit in mid August.

Mr. Colbert appears to be a fan of Tesla too. He told Mr. Kalanick that he has a Tesla, and they’re “beautiful” and “incredible” cars.