Elon Musk admits Tesla nearly died

Tesla was on the critical list earlier this year.

That’s what founder Elon Musk said Sunday in an interview aired on “Axios on HBO.”

Tesla’s chief executive said the electric-car company was “within single-digit weeks” of dying.

Musk said Tesla was “bleeding money like crazy” during its Model 3 production ramp-up and almost went under, according to MarketWatch.

“Essentially, the company was bleeding money like crazy, and if we didn’t solve these problems in a very short period of time, we would die. And it was extremely difficult to solve them,” Musk said.

Musk admitted that he had been stretched to the limit. “People should not work this hard,” he said of his stretch working 22-hour days, seven days a week. “This is very painful.”

“It hurts my brain and my heart,” Musk said. “It hurts. It is not recommended for anyone. I just did it because if I didn’t do it... there was a good chance Tesla would die.”

In late October, Tesla posted a surprise quarterly profit, and earlier this month, Musk said Tesla was not “staring death in the face anymore,” and it will likely be cash-flow positive for all quarters going forward.

Tesla shares  are up about 4.6% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s 1.5% loss.