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Tesla shooting for $250M in IPO and debt raise to produce the WhiteStar

Tesla Motors is planning to raise $250 million between a public offering and debt raise, according to a Financial Times interview with the company’s chairman, Elon Musk.

This marks the first time that a number has been attached to Tesla’s future fundraising plans. The company is already one of the most heavily funded cleantech startups, with $100 million raised to date plus an additional $40 million that it just closed.

Tesla will need the funds to accelerate the development and production of the White Star, the mass-market sedan it plans on rolling out now that its high-end sports car, the $98,000 Roadster, has finally begun shipping.

It took five years of development to produce the Roadster, and Tesla doesn’t even have control over the production lines that make it. To have any chance of growing past its current status as a boutique automaker, Tesla will need to be able to accelerate the process, and build its own manufacturing facility.

That will likely be in Albuquerque, New Mexico or in the East Bay of California, according to the FT. The White Star will come with a price tag of around $50,000, putting it in competition with BMW, Mercedes and other high-end carmakers.