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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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 took over a former Lexus dealership to open a 14,000 square foot Sales, Service, and Delivery Center in Brampton, Ontario.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Six months later and Tesla finally switches to kWh billing at Superchargers in Canada (although the delay wasn’t Tesla’s fault).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.