Langford gets Island’s first Tesla centre, RCMP’s first EV cruiser

Langford will officially be the first community on Vancouver Island to host a Tesla Centre and the West Shore RCMP will be the first detachment in Canada to operate a front-line electric police car. Both announcements were made Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Tesla centre. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)Langford will officially be the first community on Vancouver Island to host a Tesla Centre and the West Shore RCMP will be the first detachment in Canada to operate a front-line electric police car. Both announcements were made Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the Tesla centre. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Langford Mayor Stew Young, Heather Kellington of the Tesla Owners Club of Vancouver Island and Jeany Lee of Seacliff Properties participate in the ceremonial groundbreaking for a new Tesla Centre in Langford, the first of its kind on Vancouver Island, set to open in June 2023. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)
Around 50 people gathered Thursday morning for an announcement and groundbreaking ceremony for a new Tesla Centre in Langford – the first of its kind on Vancouver Island – set to open in June 2023. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

Langford is set to become the first Vancouver Island home of a Tesla service centre over the next year.

At a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning (March 3), Mayor Stew Young announced the 35,000-square-foot building will begin construction on March 11 and be open for business by June 2023 on City Gate Boulevard.

“This is a big day for Langford with all the different things that are going on in the world, like climate change, that we need to address,” said Young. “What a better way to showcase Tesla, to showcase electric vehicles than to actually have a Tesla centre where they will fix your cars, you can order cars and collect your cars where you used to have to go over to Vancouver.”

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The new facility is expected to have as many as 50 full-time jobs once complete, and in its first year of operations will inject approximately $295,000 into Langford through taxes.

While from the outside the new facility might seem similar to a traditional dealership, Tesla service centres operate a bit differently. The facility will primarily serve as a service centre, but demo vehicles will be available for interested customers to look at or take for test drives.

Purchasing will still be done online, however, but the centre will serve as a delivery point, saving new customers a trip to the mainland to pick up their new ride.

For Heather Kellington, a five-year Tesla owner and a member of the Tesla Owners Club of Vancouver Island, having a service and delivery centre on the Island will go a long way toward making ownership more attractive and practical.

“Right now, a lot of things can be done with the Tesla Mobile Ranger,” she said of the service where technicians come to owners to perform minor repairs. “But it will be a lot easier having a service centre here than having to go to Langley or Vancouver or Richmond.

”It’s very exciting for the Tesla owner community, I know I have been waiting for this for five years and some people have been waiting a lot longer than that.”

The owners club has around 1,800 members, but Kellington estimated there are closer to 3,000 Tesla owners on the Island.

While the new centre was the main focus Thursday, it was also announced that the RCMP’s first-ever electric police vehicle is set to arrive on the West Shore later this year.

The Tesla Model Y will be the first marked, frontline electric vehicle in the force, West Shore RCMP Supt. Todd Preston said.

“It is actually in Ottawa right now being retrofitted,” he said. “We couldn’t be more excited to be part of this progressive move here in the West Shore.”

The RCMP aims to be net-zero by 2050, Preston said, and initiatives like this will help achieve that goal. In addition to the Tesla, the detachment is also expecting to receive an electric Ford Mustang Mach E for testing.

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City of LangfordElectric vehiclesTeslaWest Shore