Tesla Langford Grand Opening

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.

Tesla Langford Grand Opening ribbon cutting
Tesla Langford Grand Opening ribbon cutting. L-R: David Grove (Vancouver Island Tesla Club), Fereshteh Zeineddin (Tesla director of sales, service and delivery for Canada, Mexico and the Pacific North West), Christopher Bishop (Tesla regional manager for Western Canada), and Scott Goodmanson (Langford Mayor).

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.

Press coverage

Tesla in Langford – construction

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.

Ground breaking at Langford Tesla location - Mayor Stew Young & Heather Kellington & Jennie Lee
Ground breaking at Langford Tesla location – Mayor Stew Young & Heather Kellington & Jennie Lee

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.

Render of new Tesla sales and service centre in Langford
Render of new Tesla sales and service centre in Langford

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.

April 4, 2022 – UPDATE – Construction for the new Service Center in Langford – foundations are going in. Darryn John photo

September 9, 2022 UPDATE - I stopped by to inspect the progress. The Langford Service Centre is coming along nicely. 3 of the walls are up. - Payam Karimi
September 9, 2022 UPDATE – I stopped by to inspect the progress. The Langford Service Centre is coming along nicely. 3 of the walls are up. – Payam Karimi

tesla langford service
Nov 29, 2022 – An article from Drive Tesla Canada – Building plans reveal new details of Tesla Service Center in Langford
Dec 23, 2022 – Snowy update on the Langford Tesla service centre – photo by Dan Hedekær

July 9, 2023 – Some furniture and equipment inside already, destination chargers powered up. It’s almost ready! – Darryn John

Tesla AutoPilot 2018.10.4 – a big advance

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.

DriveElectric in Victoria

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.

Some highlights

  • 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.

Jeremey Janzen, Organizer

Tesla Roadshow 2016 in Victoria

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.
Tesla Roadshow Victoria 2016
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!

Victoria Day Parade 2016

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.

More photos on Tesla X Canada

Islanders on road trips in their Teslas

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 covering over 24,000kms!

Jeremey and Laura Janzen – Spud’s Electrik Trek – to New York in a big circle thru the USA & Canada

Spud's route map around North America
Spud’s route map around North America

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!