After seven years, the Tesla showroom on Robson Street between Burrard and Hornby streets has shut its doors for good.

The battery-electric car maker closed the highly prominent location at 929 Robson Street late last month, and crews were seen demolishing the space over the weekend.

In 2014, Tesla opened at the space — previously H2O Plus — as its second Canadian showroom and store location.

It is not clear if the closure is due in part to COVID-19’s impact on foot traffic on Robson Street, but in early 2019 the company announced plans to close hundreds of stores for its transition into primarily online sales. At the time, Tesla had 378 stores and service centres around the world.

Within Metro Vancouver, it still has three other locations, including 1636 West 4th Avenue in Kitsilano (also a service centre) and Park Royal shopping mall in West Vancouver. Last month, the Nissan dealership at 19505 Langley Bypass in Surrey closed to make way for Tesla.

The warehouse property at 901 Great Northern Way in the False Creek Flats is a designated Tesla pick-up location for new car owners.

Tesla at 929 Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, before closure. (Google Maps)

British Columbia has the highest number of battery-electric car sales per capita in North America, and this is one of Tesla’s stronger markets. As of the end of 2019, one-in-10 vehicles sold in the province were zero-emission vehicles, most likely battery-electric.

According to ICBC statistics, the number of Tesla vehicles on the road grew from 255 in 2015 to 2,843 in 2019 within Vancouver, and 753 in 2015 to 10,694 in 2019 for the whole Lower Mainland.

In 2019, Tesla accounted for about half of all battery-electric vehicles in the Lower Mainland, with 10,694 units being the company’s make. The next two largest competitors were the battery-electric models of Nissan with 3,628 units and Chevrolet with 2,646 units.

The number of battery-electric vehicles within the Lower Mainland of all battery-electric makes has grown from 2,252 in 2015 to 21,859 in 2019.

Just east of Tesla’s former Robson Street retail unit at the corner with Hornby Street, smart home fitness equipment company Peloton is turning Foot Locker’s former location into a flagship store and showroom. It will open Spring 2021.

Swedish electric car company Polestar is retrofitting 827 Seymour Street, formerly occupied by Dunn’s Famous Restaurant, within the ground level of the Capitol Residences tower just south of Robson Street, into a new permanent store location. It will open early this year.

Polestar is currently operating a temporary showroom location at 1050 Homer Street within the former space of BMW’s MINI Yaletown.

Polestar is a division of Volvo, which is owned by Geely, a Chinese car company.

peloton 919 robson street vancouver

Renovations for Peloton at 919 Robson Street, Vancouver. (Martin Moriarty)

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