While Tesla (s TSLA) and its CEO Elon Musk might be flying high now, back in 2008 the company went through some dark times (which I covered). Musk looked back at Tesla’s early history at the World Energy Innovation Forum at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California on Wednesday and reflected on a big lesson from the early days.

Tesla should have designed an electric car from the ground up from the beginning, Musk said. Tesla’s first electric car was the Roadster, which used a Lotus body and a third party powertrain from AC Propulsion. Tesla only produced a limited number of the cars and the Roadster faced a long delay when it was launching back in 2008.

“We ended up changing most of the damn car,” said Musk, “so we thought later, why did we do that.” Tesla was built on two false premises, Musk said:…

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