Tesla IPO Likely in 2009

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With Tesla’s first Roadsters finally landing stateside, (first production Roadster pics here), Silicon Valley’s electric car company is starting to get serious about its second line of cars: an electric sedan with the code name of White Star. The company tells the Financial Times that it plans to raise $250 million through both an IPO and debt financing over the next two years to get its White Star sedan to market. And Tesla’s VP of sales, marketing & service, Darryl Siry tells us this afternoon that a Tesla IPO will probably occur in 2009, and not likely this year.

With another $250 million (on top of the $140 million already raised) the company hopes to get its White Star to market by 2010. Given the long delays of the Roadster, we wouldn’t be surprised if the company overshot that deadline, too. Through its work on the Roadster the company has smoothed out many of the kinks that could trip up its all-electric sedan, but Tesla is also planning on adding a series-hybrid version of the White Star, so we’ll see how fast the company can best those technical hurdles.

Siry tells us that just last Thursday the company closed that round of $40 million, which we first reported back in December. And as early as the end of the second quarter, the company could unveil the design of its White Star vehicle for the first time. Showing off the next-gen vehicle before many customers even have their first long-delayed order, could be the ultimate sign of moving too fast, but, of course, we’ll be there front and center to bring you those pics.
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15 Comments

Web

Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

Matt

Jim, the whole idea is to bring down the battery cost dramatically once economies of scale are realized. Tesla investors and execs understand this… that is why they are starting at the top of the price/performance ladder and working their way down, until they are able to achieve high-volume at a lower price point.

Dr. No

Better IPO ASAP – who knows when the first battery blows up while some dot.com guy goes in overdrive on 280 and deplets all the charge in a nanosecond. Some ugly visual with that and the nixing of the entire IPO window right there – blown in the wind of I-280… Got to happen at the Sand Hill Road exit… Some VA whiz kid making a movie on that ?

Jim

To potential investors: A $20,000 battery that lasts 5 years and 100,000 miles equals 20 cents per mile (just the battery). An ordinary car burning $3/gallon gasoline and getting 30 miles/gallon equals 10 cents per mile (just the gasoline).

Hard to see how the Tesla makes sense unless they can drop the cost of their battery by a factor of 4 or better.

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