Year In Review – Top Stories for Tesla in Canada in 2023

2023 was a big year for Tesla around the world, and especially here in Canada. On the final day of 2023, we thought it would be a good idea to look back at some of the biggest and most important stories for Tesla in Canada over the past 12 months.

January

Tesla slashes prices in Canada

One of the biggest stories happened within the first few weeks of 2023 as Tesla slashed prices across its entire lineup in Canada. One of the most important price changes was to the Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD), which once again became eligible for the $5,000 federal iZEV incentive.

February

Measurement Canada approves kWh billing

Although not directly related to Tesla, Measurement Canada finally approved kWh billing at existing DC fast charging stations, which includes the Supercharger network. While the change was approved, it wasn’t many months later until Tesla implemented the new billing method.

March

Tesla expands into Atlantic Canada

Two years after the first job postings appeared, Tesla signed a lease for a 60,000 square foot building in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The site hasn’t opened yet, but it is expected to early in the new year.

April

Tesla updates Supercharger rates in Canada

No, this wasn’t the change to kWh billing. In April Tesla updated their time-based Supercharger rates in Canada, shifting to four price tiers in Canada to better account for the differences in charging speeds between Urban, V2, and V3 Superchargers.

Tesla switches to importing cars from China, Model Y RWD introduced

One of the most significant stories happened in April, when Tesla introduced a new Model Y RWD in Canada. This was important for two reasons. The first was that it allowed the Model Y RWD and Model Y Long Range (LR) to qualify for the iZEV incentive, but it was also the start of Tesla importing cars from China into Canada, instead of shipping them up from California (although we didn’t know the extent of that change just yet).

May

Model Y changes – lower range, no 7-seat option

Following the introduction of the Model Y RWD, Tesla lowered the range of the Performance variant a few weeks later, confirming another import from China. A few weeks after that, Tesla stopped offering the 7-seat option for the Model Y as well, also tied to the switch to bringing Chinese-made cars into Canada.

Referral program returns to Canada

Tesla finally brought back its referral program to Canada in May, although it was different than before. Instead of earning free Supercharging, owners could now earn referral credits that could be redeemed for merchandise, accessories, Supercharger credits, and even software upgrades like Full Self-Driving Capability and Acceleration Boost.

June

Tesla cancels Fremont-made Model Y orders

Tesla never officially announced the change to importing cars from China, until they started cancelling orders for the Model Y in June. They were cancelled because the Fremont-made cars had a higher range, but Tesla gave customers the option to switch the lower-range Model Y from China.

Tesla opens new Service Center in Brampton

Tesla took over a former Lexus dealership to open a 14,000 square foot Sales, Service, and Delivery Center in Brampton, Ontario.

July

Construction begins on largest Supercharger station in Canada

A new 32 stall Supercharger station began construction at the Applewood Village Plaza in Mississauga, making it the largest station in Canada, surpassing the 24 stall stations in Hope, BC. But it didn’t open until later in the year, and by the time it did, it wasn’t the largest in Canada anymore.

Third-party extended warranty launches in Canada

Tesla owners in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia can purchase a third-party extended warranty through CBI & Finance. Tesla was only offering their in-house extended service agreement in the US at the time.

First purpose-build Service Center in Canada opens on Vancouver Island

Tesla opened a new Service in Canada in Langford, a community just outside of Victoria, BC. The 35,000 square foot Service Center was the first on Vancouver Island, and the first time Tesla had built a Service Center in Canada.

Tesla proposes 60,000 square foot Service Center for Port Coquitlam, BC

The Tesla capital in Canada is Vancouver, and to support all of those owners the company proposed in July to build a 60,000 square foot location in Port Coquitlam, BC. Making this location unique is that it would Tesla’s  “terminal destination for vehicles shipped to Canada via the US and Shanghai,” with 75% or more of the cars that arrive in Canada going through Port Coquitlam.

August

Tesla switches to kWh billing at Superchargers in Canada

Six months later and Tesla finally switches to kWh billing at Superchargers in Canada (although the delay wasn’t Tesla’s fault).

Tesla adds time-of-use Supercharger rates

Shortly after switching to kWh billing, Tesla also added off-peak rates at select Supercharger stations, incentivizing plugging in your car late at night or in the early morning.

September

Tesla brings its extended warranty program to Canada

After launching it in the US earlier in the year, Tesla brought their ‘Extended Service Agreement’ (ESA) to Canada, priced from $2,700 up to $4,100 for 2 years or 40,000km.

Supercharger network opens to other EVs

Tesla opened two Supercharger stations in Ontario, Deep River and North Bay, to owners of other electric vehicles (EVs). This was made possible with the two stations being retrofitted with Magic Docks. This is a pilot program before Tesla expands Magic Docks to more than 750 Superchargers by 2025.

October

Tesla switches back to shipping Fremont-made cars to Canada

Six months later and Tesla switched back to exporting cars from the US into Canada, although the change only impacted the Model 3. Although never officially confirmed, this change took place because Giga Shanghai switched to building the new Model 3 known as Project Highland.

Canada’s largest Superchargers opens in BC

Despite being the largest Supercharger in Canada, a 40 stall Supercharger in Richmond, BC went completely unnoticed until just a few days before it was turned on. The reason it went unnoticed? It is located on the top floor of a parking garage.

November

Cybertruck arrives in Canada for testing and display

November was Cybertruck month in Canada. The first Cybertruck in Canada was spotted in Quebec, where it is still currently being tested. A little over a week later and the first Cybertruck display unit appeared in BC, and it drew massive crowds over the Black Friday shopping weekend.

December

Largest Service Center in North America announced for Vancouver

Remember back when we said the Tesla capital of Canada is Vancouver? More proof again, as Tesla announced plans to open the largest purpose-built Service Center in North America in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood. It will be 120,000 square feet, with construction set to begin early in 2024, and open in 2026.

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