Tesla’s New Frontiers: Canada, Chicago

Tesla Motors, the Silicon Valley electric automaker, continues to expand its distribution network. The automaker, now selling the $109,000 Roadster, has showrooms in Menlo Park and Santa Monica.

Tesla's LA showroom

Tesla's LA showroom

It also has begun taking orders for its first model in Europe.

Today it added Canada to its roster, as it began taking orders from our neighbor to the north. (An aside: This should be a good test of the viability of electric autos and batteries in colder climates as the high today in Toronto will be 32 degrees F, 21 in Montreal and -13 in Inuvik.)

Cars will start rolling into Canada in the 4th quarter, Tesla said, initially through regional centers in Seattle and New York. Eventually, the automaker said in a release, Tesla hopes to open stores in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Tesla’s crack PR staff alerted me to the brand’s Canadian connections. Chairman/CEO/product architect Elon Musk, though born in South Africa, worked on his cousin’s wheat farm in Saskatoon when he was 17. His mom and grandmother lived in places like Regina and Moose Jaw. And Musk went to Queen’s University before transferring to the U of Pennsylvania. Also, eBay’s Jeff Skoll, an early Tesla investor, lived in Montreal.

Stateside, Tesla said it would open its third U.S. showroom in Chicago. It’ll be located at 1053 W. Grand Ave., near the Kennedy Expressway in the River West neighborhood.

Read more on Tesla’s Web site.

(Photo of Tesla’s LA showroom courtesy of Tesla Motors.)


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