'There wasn't some other way to do this' — Elon Musk says 'everyone' at Tesla was working 100-hour weeks to ramp up Model 3 production

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk says this has been one of the worst year’s he’s ever had: “This year felt like five years of ageing, frankly. The worst year of my entire career.”
  • In a new interview with Recode, Musk says he was working 120-hour weeks to get Tesla Model 3 production ramped up.
  • Moreover, Musk says that “everyone” at Tesla was working 100-hour weeks.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is having a particularly hard year.

“This year felt like five years of ageing, frankly. The worst year of my entire career,” Musk said in a new interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher.

There are a lot of reasons for that, but prime among them is the absurd hours he puts in at Tesla: upwards of 120 hours per week, and an average of 100-hours per week throughout the year.

“I haven’t counted exactly, but I would just sort of sleep for a few hours, work, sleep for a few hours, work, seven days a week,” he said. “Some of those must have been 120 hours, or something nutty. You’re gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week.”

A little bonkers, you say?

Elon MuskJoe Rogan Experience/YouTubeMusk was interviewed on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast, where he appeared to smoke pot on camera.

For some context, working a 120-hour week is equivalent to working 17 hours on average every day without any days off. Musk would almost certainly have to sleep at the office for that to happen – something that he’s known for doing.

Read More: Elon Musk says Apple doesn’t really ‘blow people’s minds’ anymore

Beyond the CEO, though, Musk said “everyone” at Tesla was working 100-hour weeks in 2018 in an effort to ramp up production of the company’s most recent car, the Model 3. Working 100 hours in a week is equivalent to 14 hours on average every day without any days off.

“There wasn’t some other way to do this,” Musk said. When pushed, Musk reiterated: “There wasn’t some other way to do this, Kara.”

That said, it sounds like those kinds of hours have shrunk back to slightly more reasonable levels as Model 3 production has reached internal targets. “Now we’re down to 80 or 90. It’s pretty manageable,” Musk said.

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