Tesla's $100M IPO: Losses Expected Until At Least 2012. Musk Taking $1 A Year.

Electric car company Tesla Motors has filed for a $100 million IPO. There were rumors recently floating around that the company, which is led by PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, would go public “soon.” One interesting tidbit from the filing: Musk only takes $1 in yearly salary.

Another interesting factoid: In the filing, Tesla states that it has seen net losses in each quarter since inception. The company expects to continue on the same path until it starts to deliver larger quantities of its Model S sedan, which is not expected until 2010 or later. Tesla took a loss in the first three quarters of 2009 of $31.5 million which is less than its loss for the same period in 2008, which was $57.3 million. Gross profit for the first three quarters of 2009 was $7.8 million compared to $561K for the same period in 2008. Sales for the first three quarters of 2009 topped out at $93.4 million. As of last December Tesla had sold 937 Tesla Roadsters in 18 countries. The company also saw a total of $108.2 million in revenue since its inception in 2003 until September of last year.

Tesla claimed profitability in August of last year, reporting at the time that it made “approximately $1 million of earnings” on revenues of $20 million, and that it shipped 109 Roadsters, its $109,000 all-electric sports car. Although the company took a loss for the first three quarters of 2009, we are assuming that Tesla may have posted a profit in the fourth quarter, which is why the company claimed profitability last year. In June, Tesla was also awarded a $465 million loan from the Department of Energy, which will help it manufacture its more reasonably priced Modern S sedan.

The company went through a bit of a scandal with a scathing law suit filed against Tesla Motors and Elon Musk by co-founder and former CEO Martin Eberhard, which was eventually dropped. Last year, Daimler also took a 10% (or $50 million) stake in Tesla, putting the company’s then valuation at $500 million.