Tesla has confirmed that it’s working with several major carmakers to develop a new range of affordable all-electric vehicles that are set to go on sale early next decade, but execs have also revealed that Tesla is planning to expand its own lineup with a new sedan and possibly a SUV and coupe-like sedan.

Already confirmed for a production start in 2010 is the new plug-in hybrid ‘Model S’ sedan, which Tesla will build at a new plant in California. However, several other models that could use the same underpinnings as the Model S are under consideration. If given the green light, the new models will likely join the Roadster (pictured) and the Model S by 2015, giving Tesla just seven years to develop a more efficient battery system.

The Model S, meanwhile, will play a key role in establishing Tesla as a mainstream electric car brand, and not just a niche sports car manufacturer. With expected annual sales of 20,000 units, the Model S will be significantly cheaper than the Roadster thanks to its conventional steel construction (the Roadster employs extensive use of aluminum and carbon-fiber).

There has been no mention of which mainstream carmakers Tesla is currently working with, but the plan is for Tesla to license its electric-powertrain technology for vehicles that do not directly compete with its own models. Some of the companies rumored to be working with Tesla include Daimler and Chrysler.

Read our first drive of the Tesla Roadster here.


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