Customer orders for Tesla Motors, Inc.'s (TSLA) recently-launched Model 3 electric vehicle have gone through the roof, but could CEO Elon Musk afford to drive one on his salary?

Will Musk Protest for Higher Pay?

According to a filing on Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Musk's total 2015 compensation was $37,584, which reflects the minimum wage requirement in California, where Tesla is headquartered.

Compare Musk's base salary to the $35,000 base price of a Model 3 (without options), which Musk probably would not be able to afford on this salary. For comparison, Jason Wheeler, Tesla's new CFO, earned an estimated $21 million in 2015, and can own as many Model 3s as he wants. (See also: Tesla Up 4.5% on 276,000 Orders.)

Musk Does Better Than Okay

Of course, Musk's total compensation last year doesn't include the 5.27 million in TSLA stock options he received in 2012, which, at the time, were granted as compensation intended for 10 years. Wheeler, who joined Tesla from Google parent Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) in November 2015, earned a based salary of $46,154.

TSLA shares closed Friday at $254.51, up 1.05%. The shares have climbed more than 20% over the past year, including some 15% gains just in the past month. This means Musk's 5.27 million TSLA stock options are valued at approximately $1.3 billion. 

What's more, as of December 2015, Musk owned more than 37 million shares of TSLA in total, which gives him a 26.5% stake in the company valued at just under $10 billion from Friday's closing price. And this doesn't include Musk's wealth outside of Tesla, including ventures like SpaceX.  (See also: Will Tesla Cars Ever Be Affordable? )

The Bottom Line

In other words, despite earning the California minimum wage for solely his base compensation, Musk is doing better than okay. And given the fact that the Model 3 has so far lived up to the hype, driving forward Tesla's dream of becoming a high-volume auto manufacturer, Musk's ascension in the billionaire chart has likely just begun.

Want to learn how to invest?

Get a free 10 week email series that will teach you how to start investing.

Delivered twice a week, straight to your inbox.