Big news for late on a Friday afternoon: Tesla Motors, the darling of the burgeoning electric car market, has filed for an initial public offering worth $100 million. If it pulls it off, electric vehicles will have officially gone mainstream.
Tesla was one of several companies in the cleantech sector named as likely IPO candidates at the start of the year, along with Silver Spring Networks in the Smart Grid space. With solar system maker Solyndra also filing in December, it looks like green might be one of the most active areas for public exits in 2010 — just as the Cleantech Group predicted.
But this isn’t your average public sale. Eyes have been fixed on the company’s success since its inception, both because of its sexy product and its notorious CEO, Elon Musk — who has been pushing toward this IPO for years. For this reason, its success could boost business for the whole electric car market, including competitors like Fisker Automotive, Th!nk North America, Coda Automotive and even General Motors with its Chevy Volt. However, if the filing languishes, or it doesn’t exceed $100 million, it could dampen excitement for the next generation of advanced vehicles.