Tesla Vancouver hosted a two-day test drive event at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria on the November 4-5, 2017 weekend. The test drive roster was fully-booked and lots of interested people were kicking tires! Hopefully they sold many prospective electric vehicle owners on the benefits of the Model S and Model X!
As part of that event, on Sunday morning Tesla hosted a social for current Tesla owners. It was great to meet new owners as well as familiar faces. As an added bonus, we met the person behind a newly-created position – Road Ranger for Vancouver Island. We will soon have our very own technician to service our Teslas, and he will likely be based in Victoria starting next Spring. He will be dispatched through Tesla Vancouver Service to start, but plans include having his own Service Coordinator!
Thanks go to Tesla Vancouver for including owners on Vancouver Island in this event.
Tesla owners from Victoria recently learned about Arno Keinonen’s new Harmless Home being constructed using hemp and lime blocks. The home is perched on a rocky hill overlooking the beautiful Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains. Ten Teslas convoyed from the Royal Bay Bakery, arriving to clear skies and a warm sunny day at Arno’s new home, located near East Sooke Park.
Arno already has solar power in his current home, and charges his Tesla using the Sun’s energy most of the time. This new home will use many more solar panels and have battery storage as well. The home is designed to do the least harm to the environment that is possible, given some limitations imposed by building codes and availability of suitable materials.
Features of the home:
integrated greenhouse where food will be grown
waste water treatment plant that will emit “clean” water
use both rainwater catchments and a well with storage tanks and filters for potable water
passive and active heating and cooling
take advantage of the huge insulating rating of the hemp/lime blocks
minimizing off-gassing with careful choice of materials and finishes
generate and store electricity, but still connect to the BC Hydro grid using net metering
Our members report that an 8-stall Tesla Supercharger in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is now on-line and available! Jim Hindson and Bob Saunders report it is located at Woodgrove Centre just north of Nanaimo, and is right next to Chapters (which has a Starbucks), and close to Walmart, Save On Foods, and other services. This Supercharger is now active on Tesla’s in-vehicle navigation.
This is a great move for both Tesla owners who live on Vancouver Island and visitors! Now Teslas from the mainland or Victoria can easily reach Long Beach, Tofino, Ucluelet, and northern Vancouver Island without having to wait for a Level 2 recharge mid-trip.
Access to the Supercharger in Woodgrove is easy. There are two intersections serving Woodgrove Centre from both the Island Highway and Highway 19 – Nanaimo Parkway, but the Mary Ellen Drive turn-off is the one to take for easy access to the Supercharger. After recharging, you can head north or south on Vancouver Island.
Heading north on Highway 19 and departing BC Ferries Duke Point terminal – Nanaimo Parkway – turn right onto Mary Ellen Drive and right again by Save On Foods into the parking lot.
Heading south on Highway 19 – Nanaimo Parkway – after passing Nanoose, veer right on the major exit to the Island Highway and BC Ferries, then turn right onto Mary Ellen Drive and then left just past Save On Foods into the parking lot. If you miss the exit, take the next left turn lane at Aulds Road and double back through Woodgrove Centre.
Departing BC Ferries at Departure Bay -Island Highway – Follow the signs for northern Vancouver Island, veering right after leaving the terminal. Turn left onto Mary Ellen Drive and left again just past Save On Foods into the parking lot.
The DriveElectric Victoria event held Sunday, September 18, 2016 as part of National Drive Electric Week each year, was moderately successful in terms of “messages delivered”, with about 120 guests wandering around asking questions throughout the day. It was a huge success on the volunteer side, with 18 vehicles representing nearly all automakers: Nissan Leaf, Kia Soul, Tesla Model S, Smart EV, BMW i3, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and a Toyota RAV4 EV.
A big thank you to all the EV owners (and a few non-owners) who came out and volunteered their time to help educate people. Thanks also to Charlotte & crew from Emotive who manned the registration tent and provided information on the bigger picture of EVs and related infrastructure in BC. Huge thanks to Jawl Properties for providing the venue.
Relaxed, positive, friendly atmosphere, multiple guests commented on how informative the event was — in fact a few people stated that they were now convinced their next car would absolutely be an EV.
Two families came out specifically because they are in the market now for an EV and felt the event was extremely timely.
Multiple guests commented on how much information they received in a non-intimidating way, what they termed was a “truthful environment” and appreciation being able to talk to actual owners.
Weather was much better than last year!!
Some things to pay attention to in future
As a last-minute venue, the parking lot was great but since the address was difficult to see, some guests mentioned they had trouble figuring out exactly where to go. Really large signs near/at the entrance to the venue may help people find the location and perhaps even drag a few in from off the street; many guests mentioned they didn’t see the existing signs. It’s a difficult problem.
10am to 4pm seemed to be quite a long day for the volunteers, and we didn’t really get very many people before noon. Perhaps a more concentrated time would work better such as noon-4pm.
Does anyone have any comments or vignettes to share beyond those above? Please share both highlights, and things that could be done better in the Comments below.
If you have photos, please send them to our Webmaster.
Hope to see everyone at next year’s event, and even sooner at all the other events and efforts we collectively support.
Tesla staged one of their Roadshows at a Destination Charger location at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel here in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It was a beautiful day, and there were lots of people looking at the three Model X and Model S demonstrators Vancouver Tesla brought over for the occasion. The test drive roster was full for Sunday, but there are still some available for Monday before the event is wrapped up.
At the Roadshow event inside, it was announced that Vancouver Island will soon have a Tesla Supercharger located just north of Nanaimo on the Central Island. This is great news for Tesla owners, since Long Beach on the west coast of the Island, Mount Washington ski resort, and the Northern Island communities will now be within easy reach from residents living on the Southern Island, as well as visitors to Vancouver Island arriving by BC Ferries through the two ferry terminals near Nanaimo.
Thanks go to the Tesla Vancouver staff who coordinated this event. It’s always great to connect with you!
Rolf, Silke and friends met at Mile Zero in Victoria, British Columbia on June 11th to give a suitable send-0ff to our favourite Tesla owners as they start their venture across Canada in their Tesla Model X electric vehicle towing a Safari trailer. Their dog Kye is along for the inevitable adventures they will encounter as they drive across this great country of ours in the summer months.
Their route will take them through many of the provinces of Canada: their home province of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime provinces. The major milestone has to be the “other” Mile Zero in Newfoundland!
The Victoria EV Club had a good selection of electric vehicles (EVs) in the Victoria Day Parade here in Victoria, BC, Canada. Rolf and Silke debuted their Safari all-electric trailer which they will be using to camp their way across Canada, starting in a few days. Other EVs in the contingent included the Kia Soul EV, the Smart EV, the Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Model S, and the BMW i3.
Ed from Seattle was persuaded to bring his Tesla Model X to tow the trailer through the parade. He dressed up as a chauffeur and the lovely Queen Victoria agreed to ride in the back while the falcon wing doors were open for much of the route!
Great fun was had by all. The EVs were a hit with the crowd as they silently rolled by.
Several Tesla owners on Vancouver Island have done road trips in their Model S vehicles. Three road trips taken by our members are profiled below (newest first), but if you know of more road trips (planned or already driven), please leave a comment!
James and Lisa Locke -road trip to Williamsburg, Virginia
May 2016 – James, Lisa and family drove some 10,400 kms across the USA to participate in Tesla Roadtrip 2016, a well-organized event of Tesla enthusiasts. The Lockes left Victoria on May 5, 2016, and took a direct route to the event (and back). Check out Lisa’s very detailed online report on the Victoria EV Club’s website.
Silke Sommerfeld and Rolf Oetter – TeslaXCanada – to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
January 2016 – Silke, Rolf, and their dog Kye drove diagonally across the USA to Fort Lauderdale to get to their winter escape destination: sailing in the Bahamas. Rolf sold his older Model S through Tesla Vancouver while they traveled in Silke’s newer Model S from the west coast to the east coast. They report they didn’t spend a single cent on recharging for the entire trip!
They have returned home to Victoria, but they are already planning their next road trip, and it will be a “first”. Check out their TeslaXCanada for details! You can help them spread the word via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and be sure to check out all the great videos and photos!
2014 – Not to diminish the road trips described above, but Spud’s road trip was pretty ambitious! In 2016, Tesla’s SuperCharger network is pretty well developed in North America, especially in the USA. When Jeremey and Laura drove their trip in 2014, the Tesla SuperChargers were largely just promises, with stations installed near major cities and only one trans-continental route across the northern USA. So this Electrik Trek faced challenges…and Jeremey documented it all!
Spud’s route went from Victoria down to Sedona, Arizona, then back up through Chicago to New York, New Jersey and Washington, DC, before crossing back into Canada at Niagara Falls. But wait, after spec’ing out the route through Ontario sans SuperChargers, Spud opts to head back south through the good ol’ USA and the SuperCharger network! They eventually loop back into Canada, heading through Winnipeg, Edmonton and other locales in the Prairies visiting family, before returning to home in Victoria.
The total cost of driving this 17,500km (10,900mi) trip, using 3,400kWh is $47 for recharging, not including those tolls on the east coast!
Vancouver Island Tesla owners have been a well-kept secret until now. Joe Carr, one of our Tesla owners in Victoria recently had the good fortune to acquire the domain name TeslaOwners.org and has decided to use this easy-to-remember URL to help Islanders raise the profile of Tesla vehicles and their owners.
Joe has hosted our email list for awhile now, but it is mainly used to coordinate local events among members, so that problem of being invisible remains. By having our own website, Tesla vehicle owners on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands now have an online resource to point to.
So, watch our website at vi.teslaowners.org grow into a dynamic resource for owners and our friends!