Tesla is going through money so fast that, without additional financing, there is now a genuine risk that the 15-year-old company could run out of cash in 2018. The company burns through more than $6,500 every minute, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Free cash flow—the amount of cash a company generates after accounting for capital expenditures—has been negative for five consecutive quarters. That will be a key figure to watch when Tesla reports earnings May 2…

The ongoing hiring binge is probably contributing to Tesla’s financial straits. Tesla has added employees faster than it has boosted revenue in three of the last four years. This includes more than doubling the workforce in 2017, when the company was scaling up for Model 3 production and took on employees from SolarCity Corp.

Tesla’s employee roster more than tripled from 2014 to 2017, and revenue per employee stagnated. General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. each bring in about 2.5 times as much revenue per employee. And Tesla’s swollen employee total doesn’t even account for what Musk recently characterized as a “Russian nesting doll” of contractor and subcontractor companies engaged in production at Tesla.