Tesla Motors has already seen the benefits of government assistance, securing $465 million in low-interest loans through the help of the U.S. Department of Energy, but now it looks like Tesla is planning to go even more public with an initial public offering of stock, or IPO.

To date, Tesla has been a privately-held company, owned by a few key investors including private individuals and venture capitalists. But if Tesla goes public with its stock, those private stakes could be transformed into shares, and the public could be able to buy and sell the company on the open market. A smaller IPO could simply amount to public sale of the stock without going into full open-market status.

But an IPO could open the door to a huge amount of investment and fund-raising opportunity for Tesla. It would also open the firm's financials up to an intense level of scrutiny.

Tesla hasn't released any official response other than declining comment on the report of its preparation for an IPO, but the sources close to the matter say Tesla is looking to capitalize on the current rising tide of environmental enthusiasm and awareness.

At this point, it's still a matter of speculation, but we'll bring you the latest as it breaks.

For more on Tesla Motors and its offerings, check out our review of the Roadster here, or our coverage of the Model S sedan here.