Tesla expected to launch IPO today

29 Jun 2010

Silicon Valley electric car manufacturer Tesla is to begin selling its stock in the US today, despite the fact it won’t be selling a new flagship vehicle until 2012 and has lost US$290.2m since it started in 2003.

With fuel prices rising and growing environmental awareness, however, Tesla is banking its future success on the launch of the Model S four-door electric sedan.

So far, Tesla has sold 1,000 of its two-door Roadster, which is priced at US$100,000.

Tesla expects its flotation to raise US$211.2m, which it will use to fund the Model S. The company expects to sell 12.3m shares, priced at US$14 and US$16.

The company’s goal is to build 20,000 Model S sedans a year at more than US$50,000 a pop.

Tesla’s high-profile backers include CEO Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, Toyota, which has sold Tesla a manufacturing plant in California, and the US Energy Department, which has loaned Tesla US$465m.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years