Tesla’s first purpose-built sales, delivery and service centre in Canada is now open in Langford on southern Vancouver Island just outside Victoria. It is impressive looking with a glass front facing south from a high location in a newly developed industrial and commercial area north of the Island Highway. The excitement was palpable at today’s grand opening.
The even included refreshments, test drives, tours of the service area (no photos allowed), and the obligatory ribbon cutting ceremony. VIPs and dignitaries were given early access at 1PM, and the site was opened to the public at 2PM. There were lots of Tesla staff on hand to help with crowd control, run tours and test drives, and answer questions about Tesla’s electric vehicles.
The adoption rate for electric vehicles in British Columbia has always been ahead of the rest of Canada, and is even higher on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. It took Tesla several years to get to the point of opening a sales, delivery and service centre for this area, but once they decided to go with a new building in Langford, they saw the project through to completion in 16 months.
Tesla owners on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are very happy to have a fully equipped service centre in their area, although the Tesla “road rangers” did an admirable job in the interim, and Tesla will continue to offer this service at owners’ homes or businesses going forward.
As Mayor of Langford Scott Goodmanson emphasized in his remarks, Tesla having such a big presence in this area helps adoption of electric vehicles generally, irrespective of brand or function. Transit buses, first responder vehicles, delivery trucks and vans and heavy equipment are all converting to electric propulsion, so a wider market than passenger vehicles is happening.
A big “thank you” goes to all the Tesla staff for hosting this event – one to be remembered by local Tesla aficionados.
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
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!!
Modo’s Kia Soul EV in front of the emotive tent
Crowds around the Registration and emotive tents with a Chevy Vo
Owners discussing EVs with interested visitors
emotive display with Modo’s Soul EV
Many EVs at Drive Electric Victoria
Many EVs at Drive Electric Victoria
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.
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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!