Tesla Motors hopes to raise about $178 million in what would be the first IPO by an American auto company since 1956.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric car company plans to price its shares at between $14 and $16, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. Tesla plans to go public on the Nasdaq with the ticker TSLA.

The $178 million IPO will include the 10 million shares being offered by the company as well as 1.1 million shares being held by its stockholders, the filing said. The company's underwriters have the option to sell an additional 565,000 share from Tesla and 1.1 million shares from stockholders. That would bring the overall total of the IPO to about $204 million.

The company designs and produces electric cars. Its first model, the Roadster, is a sports car priced at over $109,000. Tesla plans to roll out a sedan in 2012 that should cost about half of that.


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