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Tesla Roadster

Tesla Roadster Sport

Tesla Model S
Electric car maker's initial public offering will be first U.S. automaker IPO since Ford Motor Co. (1956)

Tesla Motors weathered the rocky road of being a pioneer in the electric vehicle industry.  Faced with financial ruin at every turn, the company instead beat the odds and found the narrow road to success.  After a couple of limited edition 100-car series (beginning in 2006), full-scale production began March 2008.  And last July, fueled by the popularity of its 2010 Tesla Roadster, the company achieved profitability for the first time.

"Profitable electric automaker" sounds like a loaded oxymoron if there ever was one, but Tesla Motors has shown that electric vehicles can be not only good looking, but good business as well.  Its Roadsters have strong appeal among luxury buyers -- from the "green" factor, to the convenience of never getting gas, to the responsive performance of a powerful electric motor.

Thus when Tesla filed on Friday to make a $100 million USD public stock offering, it has turned many heads.  The IPO from the six-year-old company could be the hottest of 2010 -- after all, there hasn't been an IPO from a U.S. automaker since Ford Motor Co. first issued public stock in 1956.

Tesla has not announced a date for the IPO, but it is expected to land before the end of 2010.

The IPO has strong financial backing – Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and Deutsche Bank Securities are underwriting the IPO.  Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are among the venture capitalists that have already jumped at the chance to invest in the promising new star of the green auto world (Daimler also holds a stake).

The company also has a new vehicle on the horizon -- the Tesla Model S.  The Model S sedan is expected to get 160 to 300 miles on a charge and retail for approximately $49,900 after a $7,500 federal tax credit.  While still rather expensive, that price makes it somewhat competitive with the 2011 Chevy Volt (expected to retail in the low 30s after tax credit) and much more approachable for entry-level luxury buyers.

In other recent Tesla news -- also found within the SEC filing -- is an interesting nugget of information regarding the Roadster which is the only vehicle that Tesla currently sells. Unfortunately for Tesla, the company won't be able to sell the current Roadster after 2011 "due to planned tooling changes at a supplier for the Tesla Roadster."

It's more than likely that Tesla is talking about a "tooling change" happening at Lotus' Hethel, UK facility where the Roadster's chassis is assembled. The Roadster shares a number of components with the Lotus Elise -- including the dashboard, windshield, and suspension pieces -- so any change that affects the Lotus Elise is bound to affect the Roadster as well.

Previous reports have noted that the next generation Elise could be in production by 2011 at the earliest, but most likely in 2012. This would coincide with the timeframe that Tesla notes with regards to the end of first generation Roadster production. Tesla explains, "we do not currently plan to begin selling our next generation Tesla Roadster until at least one year after the launch of the Model S, which is not expected to be in production until 2012."

2012 will be a pivotal year for the company with no sales of the Roadster to bank on and a financially burdensome launch of a brand new vehicle (Model S). "We are almost entirely dependent upon revenue generated from the sale of our electric vehicles, specifically the Tesla Roadster, in the near term," adds Tesla Motors "Our future success will be dependent upon our ability to design and achieve market acceptance of new vehicle models, and specifically the Model S."

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so this is what we're getting?
By The0ne on 2/1/2010 11:27:41 AM , Rating: 2
From C&D magazine of March 2010,

Tesla Roadstar,
"It had been 45min since leaving Munich with a fully charged 53kWh battery. So we are faced with exiting the autobahn and heading back to Munich or finding a facility to recharge the Tesla, not to mention something to occupy ourselves for the eight to 10 hours it would take."

Audi E-Trol and Mercedes SLS,

"53kWh battery weighs more than 1000 pounds" >.>!

"Audio claims a good 154mile on battery...only 42.4kWh used to lengthen the life of the battery"

"every KWh of battery storage currently cost roughly $1000" holy fck.

"depleted batteries would take about three hours to reenregize; a 220 source is 6-10 hours and a regular 120 source...more than 30 hours."

"Weber believes the car will be purchased as a green status symbol..." Translate, for the dumbasses out there with money to spill.

So to compensate for the added weight you make improvements and advancements in the material for the car to get it to ~4000lbs. If you ditch that stupid battery idea but keep the weight saving implementations then you have a 3000lb care which will be a better deal. Less weight is a bit less on the gas intake as well. But no, status baby.

Oh, and since it's 4000lbs and has paper thing materials, guess what happens when you get into an accident.

My commute to work is 45min, ONE WAY. Going to LA is 120mins. So I would stop halfway, charge for possibly 8-10 hours and continue? LMAO. Yes, I realize this is for the dumbasses out there and there's a few I've seen already.

I'm all for green but stupidity has to stop somewhere!

RE: so this is what we're getting?
By The0ne on 2/1/2010 11:47:38 AM , Rating: 2
Oh just wanted to add also that I don't usually mind spelling and grammar on blogs, especially when my touchpad makes them for me automatically, but C&D is one of the worst publication magazine ever.

Many of you car enthusiast will already know this, but I'll say it anyways. The grammar is so poor that from one sentence to the next you literally see improper word usages. For example,

"53 kilo-watt-hr....53-kWh" Yes, they can be interchangeable but why the fck would you continually use both.

Then the first quote...why the hell would you use "eight to 10 hours"? Either "eight to ten hours" or "8 to 10 hours". I mean, the last freaking sentence even uses just numbers.

Mind you this is C&D where the senior staff are old farts and retards. Retards because if you bother to real the mail section they have some of the most RETARDED responses ever. This applies to most magazines though. Some 10 year rice-out kid is being used to make all those smart-ass, pointless, dumb-founded, replies.

To add to insult, unlike other car publications C&D instead chooses to have each of it's car reviews with complete different graphs and charts. The very next review won't even have the tech specs like page of the vehicle right before it.

If I didn't get this magazine for free I be pissed. But man, we are really heading into a world of Idiocracy.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay

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