He’s referred to it as the “most painful” year of his career.
Over the course of 2018, Tesla co-founder Elon Musk’s personal and professional life careened from the trappings of celebrity to raising eyebrows for appearing to smoke weed during an interview to getting sued by federal regulators and using his Twitter account to go on rants and skewer critics. All, of course, while continuing to run his electric car company, space venture, build underground tunnels and much more.
The Washington Post has prepared a novel way to get a sense of just how busy 2018 was for the billionaire businessman. According to the newspaper, Elon flew his jet more than 150,000 over the course of the year, which is the equivalent of six times around the earth, as he dashed between different parts of his various business interests. It’s certainly interesting to follow along in the WaPo’s video, but at the same time it’s also more than a fun exercise to simply get a sense of what his life was like during 2018.
As WaPo notes, “The billionaire executive’s frequent travel on a private plane was largely paid for by Tesla, the cash-burning automaker that faces billions of dollars in debt and has laid off thousands of employees within the last year, including slashing 7 percent of its workforce this month.
“Musk’s jet logged more than 250 flights for his work, pet projects and vacations across Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East during a year when he said his electric-car giant was losing up to $100 million a week and teetered on the brink of collapse.”
Expenses like these will likely face investor scrutiny, as the video of Elon’s 2018 travel which you can see above was released ahead of Tesla publishing its annual report today. And there’s also the matter of Elon burning up a copious amount of jet fuel to make this travel possible, which included at point during the year using the jet to make the relatively short hop from Los Angeles to Oakland to attend a competitive video-gaming event. Tesla has pointed out Elon went to the event with his kids but also met with a Tesla board member and worked at Tesla offices in Fremont before flying home, per the newspaper.
“Until we can teleport, there’s unfortunately no alternative that would allow him to do his job as effectively,” spokesman Dave Arnold said when the Post asked for a comment about Elon’s travel last year.