Tesla has hinted on several occasions in the past that it wants to expand its range of vehicles beyond the current Roadster and upcoming Model S sedan in the very near future. The CEO of the electric car start-up, Elon Musk, has now reaffirmed his company’s plans to do just that, by revealing that a crossover model is in the works and is due to hit the streets around 2013 or 2014.
The current focus is to launch the Model S sedan by late 2011 or early 2012 at the latest, but after that we’ll see a replacement for the current Roadster model--most likely a year or two after the Model S--and then eventually the crossover.
Additionally, Musk has revealed that all-wheel drive will be a key characteristic of future Tesla vehicles and that prices will drop with each additional model launch. The Model S, for example, is expected to start at just under $50,000, which is about half the price of the Roadster, and the new crossover model could be priced even lower.
Tesla is also just weeks away from announcing a new site for its North American production facility. This new plant will be a high-tech center and will include divisions for stamping, paint shop, body and chassis, and doors, and should be up and running by the end of next year.
Importantly, Tesla will also use its new plant to produce electric drive systems, including powertrain and battery packs, for rival automakers. One of the first is likely to be Germany’s Daimler, which currently owns an 8 percent stake in Tesla and is planning to launch electric versions of its Smart ForTwo and next-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class in Europe.