The answer that's most likely correct may surprise you.

Of course, many people would immediately say that Tesla's most valuable asset is CEO Elon Musk. Despite any of his shortcomings, he's a brilliant visionary with a massive net worth and a huge social media presence. The Model 3 may be another answer that tops many peoples' list. This makes perfect sense since the automaker has sold an impressive number of Model 3s and has really only just begun. However, our good friend Sean Mitchell did some digging, and he seems convinced that Tesla's owner base is its largest asset by far and wide.

Sean is presenting this newest video as part one of a two-part series. His followup will look at the company's biggest risk. As soon as that video becomes available, we'll share it with you here. In the meantime, let's take a look at how he came up with the information to determine the Silicon Valley automaker's most valuable asset.

Sean says he posted a survey asking if the Tesla Roadster referral prize should go away. Not surprisingly, some 70 percent of respondents voted "Yes." The electric car maker doesn't advertise in the traditional sense, but it uses its referral program to round up new customers, and it's clearly working. But, we know of multiple YouTubers that already have a free Roadster coming and at least one person that has already secured two! If the company can afford to give away multiple Roadsters, the success of the program is clear.

The survey started a conversation between Sean and another Tesla owner, which enticed Sean to try to get a rough idea of the monetary value of a Tesla customer. While he doesn't have access to all the data to assure a truly accurate figure, he takes the time to estimate based on the information that's available. The result may shock you. Essentially, if not for Tesla's supportive owner base, the company wouldn't be selling nearly as many cars.

Check out the video and let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Video Description via Sean Mitchell (AllThingsEV.info) on YouTube:

What is Tesla's most valuable asset?

Tesla’s most valuable asset

A two part series where in the next video I will cover Tesla’s biggest risk.

Intro: Is it Elon Musk? Bloomberg estimates at 23.6B as of December 2018

Is it the Model 3? Which as sold nearly 100K vehicles as of October 2018

I would say it is its current owner base.

Some Tesla critics even call it a cult.

I posted a Twitter poll last night asking if the Tesla Roadster referral prize should go away. Of the 300+ that have voted 70% say yes.

That spurred on a discussion with Tesla owner Marc Benton on if there was any other car maker who has as active of an owner base as Tesla. We both agree that we could not think of one.

That got me thinking, what is the monetary value of Tesla’s customers.

Since Tesla does not do traditional advertising, I surmised a lot. After looking at the data I was blown away at how much ‘a lot’ actually is.

That’s just car sales, what about brand awareness?

Digiday estimates that the going rate for a YouTube sponsorship is around $2,000 per 100,000 subs

If we take a few of the most prominent YouTubers promoting their referral code, we find something really interesting.

Summary: Tesla has a more than $3.5B annual cash cow on their hands which I believe no other car company has figured out.

In my next video I’m going to cover the areas I believe Tesla is at risk of losing their largest asset and how they can preserve it.