Thursday, March 3, 2022 – Langford Mayor Stew Young and our very own Heather Kellington helped Jennie Lee of Seacliff Properties break ground this morning at Tesla Canada’s long-planned sales and service facility, to be built in Langford between Costco and Home Depot. Construction is starting immediately. The 35,000 sq feet building will open in June, 2023.
Tesla has been scouting for a suitable location for several years on southern Vancouver Island, resulting in many rumours being shared among Tesla owners in the area. Locations between Nanaimo and Victoria were talked about, but this location in Greater Victoria will certainly well serve the huge number of Tesla owners in the area, who will no longer need to drive to Vancouver for major service and repairs.
Until their new building is completed, Tesla has rented a temporary location to provide service from the Rock Bay area in the City of Victoria. Much service on Vancouver Island is currently handled by Tesla’s Mobile Technicians, who arrive at vehicle owners’ homes and offices to perform minor repairs and service.
I was always told “never buy the first few years of a vehicle, because they haven’t worked out all the bugs”. Tesla has been building electric cars and their parts for many more years then ICE conversion companies. They are the leaders and what all the followers are comparing themselves to ( like the truck manufacturers compare their truck to the F150). – Craig P
I loved the electric component of my Prius Prime but hated when it flipped to gas. Electric driving is so fun! And not having to deal with a dealership. I hate buying cars from traditional dealerships. – Elizabeth T
I wanted the reliability of a charging network. Two months after purchasing mine I drove to California and back. 4,600 km round trip. Couldn’t have done it in any other EV – Duncan M
I was totally enamoured with Tesla before I got mine, so it didn’t take much for me. The final “nail in the coffin” for us though, was I’ve never seen a car hold it’s value as well as Tesla‘s do. – Gary H
Autopilot and their incredible software stack. – Robert L
The company’s mission statement, their lead and excellence in EV tech and the fact that the car is the most fun you can have with your pants on. – Glenn G
Fast – Shawn E
All of the above – Heather K
About ten years ago, I warned my wife that my “mid-life crisis car” would have a plug on it. An EV was the obvious environmental choice. I started following developments at Tesla in about 2009 and became a TSLA investor in 2016. In spite of that, in 2018 I researched all available EV options – and the Tesla Model 3 was the obvious choice. I wanted to buy a car from a company that has a foothold in the future and is not dragging along with a legacy in the past. In 2019, we bought our M3 SR+: my wife wanted red exterior and white seats; I wanted the FSD. The continuous firmware upgrades are incredible, making for a continuously improving product. –
Sexy – Catherine H
The Tesla tech is just YEARS beyond the competition. Like an iPhone compared to a Blackberry. The thing just constantly amazes about how smart it is and how nice it is to be in.
SO many quality of life features that the other makers just don’t seem to have the ability or desire to offer. – Craig T
Range. Fast. Style. Charge network. Battery management. Not an OEM that treats electric like an ice car ( needing tons of maintenance) – Steve G
Spending up to ~$500/month on gas for the 07 Tahoe was getting old. And it needed to be replaced. I was sick of working on it. I wanted something fast. Was originally interested in the Mach e but glad I didn’t go that route as the Tesla seems to be the superior vehicle. $8k incentive was the deciding factor that made us pull the trigger – Roderick G
Replace the gas bill. Was over $500/ month in gas for work commutes, so was willing to put up with the basic interiors etc to have it as an extra commuter car. The tech is also fun, but that fades quickly. Definitely would not have got it as my only car. – Peter A
Clean interior design, floor space in back seat, mobile servicing & no fuel bill. – Sabrina C
It’s not an ICE car – Maggie H
True innovation, not a remake of an ICE, they took on the big companies that had us locked down. – Sandra S
Necessity!! I knew that if Tesla didn’t survive, EV’s wouldn’t be available for years. I followed Tesla since the T Zero concept back in 2003 , and drooled over getting an EV ever since. Purchased Tesla stock in 2016, and Tesla’s previous supplier of inverters, Solaredge in 2017. Made enough returns on Solaredge to pay for my Model 3 in 2018, and still have my Tesla stock growing nicely too. – David B
Isn’t it awesome to be driving a solar-powered Tesla? I love it! – Ann-Marie H
Safety and engineering! Plus, the dash was uncluttered and Autopilot eased some of my city driving anxiety. – Jennifer D
Been an EV house for years. Really enjoyed our BMW i3 which we owned before the M3 was released. When it was time to switch the decision was easy. – Tony J
For giving away the patents – Dee Dee W
My friend who is a mechanic strongly recommended it. – Jean-Guy N
I’m a tech guy, I love all the tech and have been wanting an electric car for years…so when the boss(wife and ceo of our tech company) said I could get one as a bonus I jumped on it. – Jerry H
I got tired of watching the price of gas going up around 2007 and googled electric cars and discovered Tesla. I fell in love with the original roadster and reserved one even though I knew I couldn’t afford one. I never bought the roadster but reserved a Model 3 when they revealed it years later. Got tired of waiting for the Model 3 and inquired about a used Model S in 2017. Tesla sales called me the next day and said a 2014 Model S was available but it had been in a accident 3 years ago with about $15,000 worth of damage and I could get it for less then the cost of a Model 3 with lifetime free Supercharging and premium connectivity. I jumped at the deal and I still love the car today and have convinced a few people to by a Tesla but wish I could get more people on board. – David J
Price of gas, and listening to testimonials. Plus compared to other cars, it’s pretty freaking nice looking. – Jane J
James Locke, the President of the Vancouver Island Tesla Owners’ group freely admits, “I’m a little nuts.” When it comes to road trips in their Teslas, both James and his wife Lisa are the champions! Where most of us would do 400-600 kilometres a day, they often double or triple that distance on their road trips.
James recently reported in after completing the first segment of an epic road trip as he arrived in Calgary, Alberta from Charlottesville, Virginia – taking a mere 3.5 days. After taking delivery of a new Tesla Model 3 in Calgary, you will see by the map that he is just getting started on what he expects will be a 37-day road trip around North America and into Canada’s north during October, covering some 22,000 kilometres!
His report is below:
As many of you noticed I just drove 4,637km from Charlottesville, VA to Calgary, AB in 3.5 days. This is the first leg of what will be, by far, my biggest road trip to date.
On Tuesday I pickup our Tesla Model 3, once I get winter tires installed and 3m Paint protection installed I am completing a road trip totalling approximately 18,608km from Calgary, and I’m doing it all in the month of October.
On Thursday September 27th, if all goes as planned this week, I leave Calgary to go back to Charlottesville, I’m home with my family for 7 days and on Sunday October 7 I drive 4 days to Fremont, CA for a Tesla Owners Club leadership summit. I am in California until Oct 13 when I drive back with friends (who are joining me in California) to Victoria, BC for a couple of nights. Oct 16th or 17th I drive to Calgary and from there I will possibly drive our Model 3 to Hay River, NWT for 10 days or so of work. This will depend on weather conditions to the North.
On approximately October 28th or 29th I leave Hay River and drive all the way back to Charlottesville, VA to finish the road trip that will exceed 22,000km in ~37 days.
I’m doing this 100% electric and I’m doing this to show just how much you can do with an EV and not worry about a thing. I will have to have zero maintenance done, I will not spend anything on power and I will probably get home and be happy to do more driving.
Today James Locke received update 2018.10.4 on their Model S 100D AP2 vehicle and he feels Tesla’s AutoPilot 2 has advanced significantly. His daughter shot a five minute video of the new update handling Sooke Road westbound here in the Victoria region.
James is excited to report that for the first time AP2 did really well on this difficult-to-navigate road. It handled sharp turns and two hills with no issues. He reports that AP2 has never completed the entire route unassisted before, however it just did with this latest update!
Videos below show additional road tests of the hew AP2 release, and have both the road ahead and the AP2 graphics on the instrument panel. These give videos give you an idea of how smooth and confident Autopilot is now on a complicated BC road on Vancouver Island.
Demo 5 is by far the most impressive in terms of complex turns with hills, however they all show areas that previously confused both AP1 & AP2.
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.