The company sells the electric Roadster, which may be helping change perceptions of electric vehicles, which many have seen as underpowered. The Roadster can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in just 3.6 seconds.
Tesla plans to shift to producing an electric sedan, called the Model S, in coming years, but it doesn’t expect to make money soon, which is why the successful IPO is a little surprising. The company also recently got a boost from Toyota, which agreed to work with Tesla on developing electric vehicles and to buy $50 million of Tesla’s stock. It’s also getting a $465 million load from the U.S. government, through the Department of Energy.
The next couple of years could be key for the company, which will face competition from major automakers such as GM and Nissan which plan to roll out electric vehicles two years before Tesla can started selling its luxury sedan.