Futurist and electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla has been dead for more than 77 years, but he's never been more popular. It's not hard to see why.  

Shares of Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) have more than quadrupled in value over the past year. Meanwhile, shares of Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ:NKLA), an upstart maker of electric semi-trucks (and soon, an electric pickup, too) and a would-be rival to Tesla, are on a tear, too, more than doubling in price since Friday's close. 

Nikola One semi truck bearing US Express logo.

Image source: Nikola Corporation.

Thanks to that, Nikola Founder and executive chairman Trevor Milton was able to publish this tweet this morning:

Is it, though? I mean, really?

Well, actually, no. According to the most recent data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) stock carries a market capitalization of $28.8 billion, even after sliding nearly 4% in Tuesday trading. Meanwhile, Nikola Corporation stock -- even after gaining 8.8% Tuesday -- is still valued at just $28.6 billion, a couple hundred million short of the mark Milton set.  

And the Nikola CEO's assertion that he's "nipping at the heels" of General Motors (NYSE:GM) -- market cap $42.7 billion? That's an even bigger stretch.

None of this detracts, of course, from the impressiveness of Nikola's rise. It makes it no less amazing that investors have valued a truck maker that has to date not actually made and sold any trucks, nor booked any revenue, within just a couple hundred million dollars of the value of one of the world's leading automakers, Ford. It doesn't even mean Nikola won't be worth more than Ford eventually.

But Nikola's not there yet.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.