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Tesla-Roadster-MoneyRumors are swirling today that Tesla Motors is seriously considering an initial public offering sometime soon. The talk has been tracked to two anonymous sources, who say the six-year-old company could cash in big on the battery-powered car trend before electric and hybrid models from companies like General Motors, Mitsubishi and Nissan make it to market.

Tesla has officially denied the prediction, calling the IPO chatter “rumor and speculation.” That said, going public in 2010 would give the San Carlos, Calif. company several distinct advantages. First, it would solidify its position as the electric car player to watch. It’s already been casually anointed as the leader by industry observers and the Department of Energy, which granted it $465 million in stimulus funds in its first round of low-interest loans for advanced transportation projects. Second, it could use the sale to raise money to get its hotly anticipated Model S sedan out the door by its 2011 due date.

Tesla is one of several cleantech companies anticipated to go public as soon as next year. When A123Systems shocked the market with its blockbuster IPO in late Sepember (its share price jumped 50 percent on opening day), many analysts, including the Cleantech Group, said that the biggest public offerings in 2010 will probably come out of the green sector. In addition to Tesla, solar system maker Solyndra — which received $535 million in loan guarantees fro the DOE in March — and smart grid communications provider Silver Spring Networks have also been named as likely candidates.

Tesla filing to go public would cap off a year of consistent wins for the company, which began with Daimler taking a 10 percent stake ($50 million) in May. After that, it nabbed the millions of loans from the DOE, followed by $82.5 million from Daimler, Aabar Investments and Fjord Ventures in September. It declared profitability in July and purchased space in thePalo Alto-based Stanford Research Park for its new headquarters and smaller assembly operations. On top of that, it opened swanky showrooms in New York, Seattle, Munich, and other major markets.

The company has now raised $783 million from a wide-ranging field of investors including Compass Technology Partners, Valor Equity Partners, Capricorn Management, Google (and its founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page), JP Morgan, VantagePoint Venture Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Technology Venture Partners and of course its CEO Elon Musk.

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