Who invests in the electric car?

Electric car maker Tesla Motors might be planning an initial public offering.

By Kim Peterson Nov 23, 2009 2:55PM
Car wheel © Brand X / SuperStockWould you invest in an electric car?

Tesla Motors may put that question to the market soon. The company plans to file for an initial public offering, according to Reuters.

Tesla makes an all-electric car called the Roadster, and its $109,000 price tag means you probably haven't seen many of them on the street. The Roadster can reportedly go from 0 to 60 miles an hour in less than four seconds.

Reuters reports that the company is developing a new model, an electric sedan, which will cost about $50,000.

Still, is this an IPO that the market will embrace?

"It would be a very trendy IPO, and if the investing public is sold on the concept of alternative cars and drivetrains, it's going to present a very interesting possibility for other companies coming to the market," David Menlow, president of IPOfinancial.com, told The Los Angeles Times.

Automaker stocks haven't exactly done well in recent years. And, the Times points out, look at what happened to all those hot ethanol-producing companies that went public in the past.

VeraSun Energy (VSUNQ), for example, went public in 2006 for $18.25 a share and is now in bankruptcy. Aventine Renewable Energy (AVRNQ) debuted at $43, and is now well under 50 cents.

But Tesla is completely different than those companies. It's flashy and grabs your attention. And it's backed by some high-powered investors, including the two co-founders of Google (GOOG) and Daimler AG (DAI).
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