WATCH: It’s a first for Vancouver Island. Tesla has installed its first superchargers and they’re all in Nanaimo.Kendall Hanson reports.
Eight Tesla Superchargers, the first ones on Vancouver Island, have been installed at Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo.
The electric vehicle company placed the Tesla Supercharging Units at Woodgrove Centre just over a month ago.
"It really plays into tourists coming here when they're driving Tesla's," said Tesla S 85 owner Joe Carr. "They can now recharge in Nanaimo and they can easily get to Long Beach, Campbell River or Victoria using the ferry connection here in Nanaimo."
Carr, a Victoria resident, loves his S 85 and says it's that much easier now to go anywhere on the Island.
"It makes road tripping for me a lot easier as well. I can be on my way in 15 to 20 minutes and hit any point on the Island,” Carr said.
The 20 to 30 minutes to charge an electric vehicle is much faster than most other alternatives.
Garth Woodworth charged up at the Nanaimo supercharger for the first time Wednesday on his way to Quadra Island.
"I'm topping up because I'm going to a place where they don't have any chargers," said Woodworth. "And so I want to have a full charge, and I can use the car while I'm there, and then I can come back and I can charge again on the way down."
The Superchargers could also benefit all electric vehicle owners. Reports say Tesla is working on an agreement that would allow other electric vehicles to use their charging stations.
While it can't discuss details of the agreement, Woodgrove Centre is paying the cost of electricity for people to use the Tesla Superchargers.
"We were just thrilled with the opportunity to partner with Tesla to add an amenity that our shoppers would enjoy," said Julia Dow, Woodgrove's General Manager. "So they can charge up, grab a coffee, do some shopping and grab a bite to eat.[It's] just a real added convenience."
These spots will add to the existing two electric vehicle charging spaces the mall has had in place for years.
The first four days saw 28 charges. Woodgrove Centre is monitoring demand quarterly, but no one has seen all eight Superchargers in use at the same time.
But if other electric vehicle owners are given access and with the arrival of Tesla's more affordable Model 3 next year, Woodgrove Centre could soon become an increasingly popular spot.