You've got the car, now get the gear.
The Tesla Model 3 is taking the automotive world by storm. It was the best-selling luxury car in the U.S. in 2018 and has now begun distribution in Europe and China. Production of the Model 3 will commence soon in China too.
As good as the Model 3 is, it's not perfect (no car is for that matter). Luckily, the popularity of the Model 3 (and quite frankly, other Tesla cars as well) has encouraged dozens of aftermarket suppliers to make all kinds of custom accessories for the Model 3. These allow owners to improve on some aspects of the car, add options they wish the car offered from the factory, and also put their personal touch on their new ride.
Since getting my Model 3 several months ago, I've already ordered quite a few accessories, and want to pass along some recommendations based on what I've learned.
Let's take a look at some of the accessories we feel Model 3 owners won't want to live without.
1) Wireless Charging Pad
Okay Elon, what's up with not having a wireless phone charging pad standard? I mean, even my dad's Honda Accord came with a wireless charging pad. Sure, Tesla recently announced it would soon be selling one as an accessory for $125, but seriously, a wireless charging pad shouldn't be an add-on for the Model 3. Unfortunately, it is, so this is probably the first accessory most Model 3 owners will want to get.
There are a few good options available, one of which is made by Jeda Products. Jeda recently sent InsideEVs a complimentary Model 3 wireless charging pad so we can test and review it. We like what we've seen so far, but we haven't had enough time to fully test it out yet, and will soon be making a dedicated post with a thorough review.
BUY NOW from Jeda for $99.00.
2) A USB Drive For TeslaCam and Sentry Mode
You've all seen Sentry Mode videos capturing unscrupulous people keying Model 3s in parking lots, and the crazy footage of wild accidents recorded on Model 3 dashcams (TeslaCam). Well, in order to access the video, Model 3 owners need to buy a USB drive and MicroSD.
You will have to format your drive to "FAT32", unless you buy one that is already formatted, like this one offered by PureTesla.
However, if you don't get one that's already formatted, it's a pretty simple process. I personally bought this USB Type-C reader because I have a Pixel 3 phone, and I can plug this right into the phone to play back the content on the spot without needing an adapter. I formatted it in a couple of minutes without an issue.
BUY NOW from Amazon for $6.23
3) Center Display Screen Protector
The Model 3's center display screen is the focal point of the interior, and it's something you'll interact with every time you drive the car. You'll definitely want to protect the screen from smudges, contaminants, and scratches. Custom-fit screen protectors for the Model 3 are available for as little as $12, so pick yourself up one, and keep that center screen looking like new.
I bought this screen protector on Amazon for $13.36. It was simple to install and so far it seems to be working out just fine.
BUY NOW from Amazon for $13.36
4) Glass Roof Sunshades
One of the coolest features on the Model 3 is its glass roof. It's especially cool-looking when you are looking down at the car from above. However, what's not cool is your head when you're driving in direct sunlight.
Even with the dark factory tint that blocks UV light, the heat generated from the glass roof can really bake your head on hot summer days. I've only had my Model 3 for a couple of weeks, and it's not full-on summer hot here in New Jersey yet, but it didn't take me long to realize that I absolutely needed a sunshade. So, I dropped $79.90 on this two-piece sunshade kit by SUMK, and it makes a huge difference.
Personally, I think these are absolutely necessary for anyone that drives their Model 3 in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The Model 3's glass roof is awesome, but it will absolutely bake your head on hot sunny days without some sort of additional screening.
BUY NOW on Amazon for $67.90
5) Center Console Wrap
This probably shouldn't be necessary, but unfortunately, it is. I say that because Tesla should have realized that the Model 3's glossy Piano Black center console would show fingerprints and smudges like crazy and simply used a different material.
Luckily, there are dozens of vendors ready to take your money and sell you a center console wrap for your Model 3. Console wraps come in a variety of colors and finishes, and besides hiding fingerprints and smudges, they protect the actual finish from potential scratches. Kenrico is one of the more popular console wrap offerings and has a matte black console wrap kit for $29.90. TapTes also offers a nice Model 3 matte black console wrap for only $19.99.
BUY NOW from Amazon from $29.50
6) NEMA 14-50 or 6-50 Adapter for the Tesla Mobile Connector
When I ordered my Model 3, I was disappointed to find out that Tesla had recently stopped shipping the NEMA 14-50 adapter with the charging kit. Instead, they now only supply the 120-volt adapter, along with the mobile connector.
The mobile connector can charge at 120 volts or 240 volts, but without the 240-volt adapter, you're stuck in the slow 120-volt-charging lane. You'll only get about 4 miles of range per hour of charging with the supplied NEMA 5-20, 120-volt plug. That will take you around 75 to 80 hours to fully charge a long-range Model 3 with a depleted battery.
Therefore, most owners will want to head over to the Tesla accessory page and get themselves an adapter so they can charge at a proper 240-volt rate. In doing so, you'll increase your charging rate from 4 miles of range per hour to about 30 miles per hour.
It's worth noting that you'll need an outlet to plug the 240-volt adapter into, so have your electrician install a dedicated 40-amp circuit with either a NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 receptacle. We'll also point out that some owners will be able to function just fine slow charging on 120 volts at home, and using the Supercharger network when they need a faster charge. It really depends on how much you drive, and how accessible local SuperChargers are.
BUY NOW from Tesla for $275
7) Tesla Connector Holster & Charging Cable Organizer
The Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector that comes with the Model 3 can charge a Tesla from either a 120 volt or 240-volt source, provided you have the proper outlet adapter. It's a good unit, and all that most Model 3 owners will need to charge their car.
However, being a small portable unit, it doesn't have the ability to organize the cable or holster the connector when not in use like Tesla's high-powered wall connector does. Therefore, it's a good idea to drop the $25 that Tesla charges for one. It will keep the cable organized, and help prevent you from running it over, or even tripping on it. Using the holster is a good idea because it will help keep the connector clean from blown dirt, dust, or moisture.
BUY NOW from Tesla for $25
8) Tesla Aero Wheel Center Cap & Lug Nut Kit
This one is strictly for those who ordered their Model 3 with the standard 18-inch Aero wheels. If you plan to take the Aero wheel covers off permanently (like me) or even just on occasion, the Tesla Model 3 Aero Wheel Cap Kit is a must-have.
The kit comes with four Tesla center caps that color-match the Aero wheels, as well as 20 black lug nut covers. It's a noticeable improvement and I'm happy with my $50.00 purchase.
BUY NOW from Tesla for $50
9) Ceramic Coating
Ok, so getting your Model 3 ceramic coated might not be a must-have for everybody, and it certainly doesn't fit into everyone's budget. Costs vary, and so do the warranties from product to product, so do some research before you drop $1,500 to $2,500 on a ceramic coating.
I had my Model 3 coated with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, and am very pleased with the results. Besides the protection, ceramic coatings make the car easier to clean and enhance the gloss, keeping your Model 3 looking its best at all times.
10) Paint Protection Film
Tesla, for all it does very well, has never really perfected the painting process. In fact, there's even a Facebook group called "Tesla Model 3 Owners Worldwide with paint issues." One of the complaints I've seen in numerous places is that the paint is "soft" and that it chips too easily.
Paint protection film is a clear plastic wrap that can go over the entire surface of the car or specific sections that you choose. I chose to have the process done over the front of my Model 3, to prevent chips from rocks and road debris. I had the nose, hood, side mirrors, and A-pillars covered in Xpel Clear Bra protection film.
More to come
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section, as we're planning on updating this article with additional accessories from time to time.