The disclosure, contained in a regulatory filing discussing the company's pending $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity (SCTY) , said that while Tesla expects its current balance sheet and cash flow projections "will provide it with adequate liquidity based on its current plans through at least the end of the current fiscal year," the company will seek additional funds to pay for tooling and equipment for the upcoming Model 3 sedan, as well as continued development of its battery factory and a build out of its retail and charging network.
Tesla also said that should the merger with SolarCity be completed, the additional funds "would also be used to support the additional capital needs of the combined company." As of June 30, Tesla had $3.25 billion in cash and cash equivalents.
The deal for SolarCity, which like Tesla counts Elon Musk as a major shareholder, has been criticized by bears because of the extra burden the money-losing solar panel installer would place on Tesla's balance sheet. SolarCity earlier this month said it would sell $100 million in bonds to Musk and SolarCity execs Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive, a potential sign that SolarCity is having trouble attracting outside interest in its bonds.
There are some indications that bond investors are growing wary of Tesla as well. The company is seeking to raise funds in part because in the current quarter it has received notice of conversion from holders of about $422 million in senior notes due 2018. Those conversions were an unanticipated further cash drain on the company.
Equity markets to date have been more forgiving. Tesla was able to sell $2 billion in shares in a May secondary stock offering, and shares of the company have held up well in the months since despite a flood of bad news concerning missed delivery estimates, regulatory investigations and a fatality linked to Tesla's Autopilot driver-assist technology.
But given the substantial risks to Tesla as it tries to ramp up production from 50,000 annual units to 500,000 and bring a new vehicle to market, there is no guarantee how long the window to raise new equity will remain open to the company.
Shares of Tesla traded down 1.79% on Tuesday and were off slightly in premarket trading on Wednesday.
Though Tesla has massive funding needs in the quarters to come and will soon face additional competition in the electric-vehicle market, it also has deposits for more than 300,000 Model 3 vehicles, a sign that there will be solid demand for the new car assuming the company is able to find the cash needed to bring it to market.