TSLA: Tesla Motors and the Future of Electric Cars

Today (June 29), Tesla Motors became the first American car company to make an initial public offering (IPO) since Ford in 1956.

So why am I writing about a car company in a tech blog?

Tesla Motors is currently the only major manufacturer of all electric cars, not hybrids.  The car company, run by PayPal founder Elon Musk, currently producers the Roadster and has sold over 1,000 of them in the past two years.  You can pick one up for around $101,000 (base price) or lease one for $1,658 a month.

The electric car maker was hoping to sell 11.1 million shares at $14-16 each, but ended up selling 13.3 million shares at $17 each.  The increase is money is encouraging for the small company, but it plans to sell the extra to Toyota for more stake in Tesla Motors.

The idea of a fully electric car is not a new one, but Tesla is the first to really capitalize on it.  However, the price is enough to stop your heart in your chest.  It’s a small, sporty, fashionable car that will only be available to the upper crust while the rest of us still drive environment killing gas powered cars and there’s no sign of a more affordable machine on the horizon unless forced by Toyota.

Enter the Nissan Leaf.  The Leaf (which is currently in the pre-order process) will be mass produced in the U.S.A. in 2012.  It seats five, is fully electric, has all the features of your basic vehicle and is set to cost around $33,000.  You can check it out at the Nissan website.

Right now Tesla is the only game in town, but does that mean the company is worth the amount of shares it’s grabbed?  When the Leaf comes out either Tesla will be forced to make a more affordable option for middle class families or they’ll go the way of the Do Do bird.