Car Culture

Elon Musk admits he's had a 'difficult and painful' year

Musk opens up in raw New York Times interview about taking Tesla private and poor physical health after "excruciating" year.

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Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, and now he's opened up about just that in a far-reaching interview with The New York Times

Tesla Model 3 production was lower than anticipated last year and the Model X crash in March only amplified worries over Tesla's automated driving systems. In July, Musk and his team he built a submarine to rescue a soccer team trapped in a Thailand cave rescue. He was later told it was not practical for the rescue mission and, after it went unused, called one of the divers involved in the rescue a "pedo guy" on Twitter, drawing scorn from many. 

Right now, he's in hot water over tweets that suggested he would be taking Tesla private -- which sees him embroiled in a federal investigation with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the wake of these issues Musk, CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and founder of The Boring Company, reflected on his "excruciating" year, calling it the "most difficult and painful" of his entire career. The Times reports that he was clearly emotional throughout the hour-long interview, alternating between moments of laughter and tears. 

Tesla's Model 3, the most affordable variant of its electric fleet, has consistently run into production issues, with the major road block being scaling production high enough to get cars out the door. In the interview, Musk discusses how those woes have taken their toll on him -- physically and mentally -- and how he has turned to the sedative Ambien to help him sleep.

The Times also reports that the idea of taking Tesla private at $420 had nothing to do with weed, but because "it seemed like better karma".

The full interview can be read here.

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