Summary:

Electric car maker Tesla could raise another $214 million in a combination of a follow on public offering and a private placement. The move shows just how much money an electric car maker that is looking to make more mainstream cars needs to scale up.

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Silicon Valley electric car company Tesla announced Wednesday morning that it’s offering an additional 5.3 million shares of its common stock, and in a separate move, both Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Daimler affiliate Blackstar Investco, plan to buy additional Tesla shares in a private placement at the public offering price. Tesla said in a statement that part of the funds of the sales will go toward developing Tesla’s next-gen electric SUV vehicle, the Model X.

According to the company prospectus, Tesla’s additional 5.3 million shares — plus another option for an additional 795,000 shares of common stock for the underwriter — could net a maximum offering price of $158.47 million, at a proposed maximum offer price of $26 per share.

In the private placement, Musk plans to purchase 1.5 million shares of common stock from Tesla, and Blackstar plans to purchase 644,475 shares of common stock. At the proposed share price of $26, the combined private placement could net $55.76 million. The combined public offering and private placement could net Tesla $214.23 million.

Musk hinted on the latest quarterly earnings call earlier this month, that Tesla was considering raising more funds for the Model X project, a cross-over SUV Tesla plans to unveil later this year.  Marketwatch notes the additional shares “add 5.5 percent to Tesla’s existing pool of outstanding shares,” and Tesla’s shares have risen 5.3 percent to $28.14 on the news.

Tesla debuted on the Nasdaq in June 2010, at an offering price of $17, and ended its first day of trading up 40.5 percent to $23.89. It has traded around there, and above that, for months, up to $33 back in November. Tesla’s shares remained high enough for long enough that its investors were likely able to get a decent price after the 180-day lockup period.

Tesla’s latest financing move shows just how much money it takes to be a car manufacturer and launch more mainstream cars. In its most recent quarter, Tesla recorded revenues of $49.03 million, more than double its first quarter 2010 revenues of $20.81 million. But at the same time, Tesla also lost $48.94 million, which was a lot bigger loss than its first quarter 2010 loss of $29.52 million. Tesla is in an investment and growth period as it looks to launch its Model S electric sedan in 2012, and now put more funds for developing its Model X program.

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