Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Elon Musk: I Gave Tesla The “Last Of My Remaining Cash” In Its Darkest Hour

Tesla’s valuation remains bigger than all other automakers. It’s hard to believe that, at one point (or several points), the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. As Sissi Cao points out in Observer, “Tesla struggled for most of its life, especially during the early years.” Looking back, it’s important to remember just how far Elon Musk has come.

Elon reflected on some dark times in a Twitter conversation with biographer Ashlee Vance recently. According to Vance, “Both Tesla and SpaceX were close to going under. Fast forward to the 2020/2021 global plague, and Tesla is the most valuable car company and SpaceX is the largest rocket and satellite company and flies people too.”

“Tesla financing round closed at 6pm Dec. 24th, 2008, [the] last hour of [the] last day possible or payroll would’ve bounced two days later,” Musk replied. “I gave Tesla last of my remaining cash from PayPal. Didn’t even own a house or anything sellable.”

Regardless, Musk has always had skin in the game when it comes to his companies. “I thought the probability of success was so low that I provided all of the money,” he said at an event in Paris in 2015. “All of the money just came from me personally. I didn’t want to ask people, other investors, for money if I thought we were going to die because I thought we were. I invested entirely the money that I got from PayPal, all of that got invested into Tesla, SolarCity, and SpaceX.”

And it turns out Tesla continued struggling in the years following the 2008 financial meltdown. “Even as recently as early 2013, we were operating with maybe one to two weeks of money,” Musk said at the Paris event.

“It takes time to optimize a new technology. … The critical point is that you can’t get to low-cost cars unless you start with expensive cars,” Musk said on-camera in 2008, when both his company and himself were drowning in debt. This video clip of a younger Elon Musk (see above) went viral on Twitter earlier this year.

In the end, it all paid off. But it took time. As Cao reports, “Tesla’s real turnaround didn’t come until 2019 when sales of Model 3, its first mass-market EV, allowed the company to post a quarterly profit for the first time. Tesla has been on a meteoric rise since then, seeing its market cap growing over 700 percent in the past 18 months.”

Originally published on EVANNEX.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.


You May Also Like

Autonomous Vehicles

Elon Musk was invited to speak at the 2021 World Internet Conference in Wuhzen, China. Elon was invited to share his thoughts on intelligent...


The automotive industry needs to design new circuit boards for newer chips and replace the antiques. They are resisting the investment, and they are...


Plugin vehicles are all the rage in China, having scored 286,000 registrations in August, a full 22% increase over the previous record, which was...

Autonomous Vehicles

After a long — often impatient — wait, Tesla owners across the United States have nearly gotten access to the company’s “FSD Beta” driver-assist...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.