Just a few days ago, Tesla – makers of electric only vehicles, opened their first store in Canada. While Tesla has been selling its cars here for almost two-years now, it had been operating from a temporary location (from the back of a high-end clothing store actually) until now.
Now they have opened their first proper store, and unlike most car dealerships, this is not on a street corner or part of an auto plaza. No, Tesla’s new store is in a mall!
Yorkdale Mall to be exact. So why a mall and why this mall?
According to Shanna Hendriks, who is the PR rep for Tesla, Yorkdale Mall reportedly see’s 27-million patrons pass through it every year. So this is the ideal place for this new brand to get some recognition. While all the auto enthusiasts know who started Tesla and what the brand is all about, the general public is not quite so well versed about this brand. So, a busy mall, which see’s all manner of customers walking through presents an ideal place to educate the public. As Hendriks pointed out, the purpose of this store is not just to sell cars, but also to create brand awareness.
But sell cars they will, and the car Tesla is pushing to sell at the moment is the Model S. I drove the Model S at a press event a few months ago (my review on which can be read here and also here) and found out that it is an interesting car for pretty much everybody. It rides, handles and accelerates like a proper sports sedan, which makes it appealing for car enthusiasts, but then it also has a lot of gadgets and cool tech on board to keep the nerdy types happy.
So a perfect car then perhaps, but the concern most people have with electric cars is range, and while the Model S boasts very impressive range figures (the top model with the 85 kWh battery can apparently go 480 km’s before needing recharging), range anxiety will for most buyers still be a big concern.
The solution is however coming. Tesla themselves are working to create an electric highway in Canada, the first of which will allow you to charge up your car at a quick charging station between Toronto and Montreal. Future plan is to have a charge station in Ottawa and Quebec City, plus there are plans for Western and Central Canada also.
Plus, a company by the name of Sun Country is working to make a cross-Canada charging network. Their plan is to have charge stations at roughly every 160 km distance. With quick charge stations (which can give your car an 80% recharge in 30-mins) set to grow across the nation, any hesitance for buyers of such vehicles will quickly vanish.
I have been honestly very impressed with what Tesla has achieved thus far. They didn’t take the cheap, easy route to doing lots of things, and given the losses they have occurred till now, a lesser company would have folded. Tesla seems determined to keep moving forward. A world with reduced smog and reduced dependance on foreign oil will be a better world. I hope Tesla will have a long, successful future ahead of them.